In truth, Everett played a pretty decent game. The Tips matched Spokane territorially and in scoring chances. The difference was that Spokane had the cutting edge in front of net while the Tips didn’t. This, of course, has been a common theme for Everett this season.
There were things to build upon here for the Tips. Everett got the puck into good scoring positions on a regular basis. The young players had their chances. The Tips played well in the first period and were unfortunate to be behind 2-1, and even after falling behind 4-1 in the third period Everett kept at it.
But the Tips just don’t have that finishing touch right now. When Everett was presented with scoring chances one of four things happened: 1) shot was fanned, 2) puck just rolled off the blade, 3) shot was wide, 4) shot was right into the goalie. At least result No. 4 was more prevalent than result No. 3 today, as a shot on target has a better chance of making something happen than a shot off target.
Everything remained static in the race for the Western Conference’s final two playoff berths. Seattle and Prince George were both idle, meaning Everett remained one point behind the T-birds and five points ahead of the Cougars. Prince George has 10 games remaining, Everett and Seattle each have nine.
The first period was, for all intents and purposes, over with the score tied 1-1 as Everett got a late clear on the penalty kill. But the Chiefs decided to give one last rush. Mitch Holmberg sped into the zone and had his shot saved, but Blake Gal got to the rebound and put it in front, where Kichton banged it in with just 0.5 seconds remaining on the clock. The goal gave the Chiefs a lead they never relinquished.
First star: Kichton. Two goals, a tremendous weapon to have at the blue line.
Second star: Gal. Two assists, set up Spokane’s second and third goals.
Third star: Garret Hughson, Spokane. 25 saves, made some good saves as the Chiefs also won the goaltending battle.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Everett had a lot of skaters who played solid games without elevating above the fray.