EVERETT — Saturday night’s game between the Everett Silvertips and Spokane Chiefs had the potential to be a punchout, based on the controversial events leading into the game.
But instead of a player’s fists, it was Clayton Bauer and the Everett power play that delivered the knockout blow.
Bauer scored three of Everett’s four power-play goals to stake the Tips to an early four-goal lead, and Everett hung on to defeat the Chiefs 4-2 at Comcast Arena.
Dan Gendur added a goal and two assists and Leland Irving made 22 saves in goal for Everett (27-20-0-2), which won its fourth straight. And for the second time in four days, the Tips knocked off the U.S. Division-leading Chiefs (32-10-1-3).
“It was a physical battle, definitely,” said Everett captain Jonathan Harty, who chipped in a pair of assists. “It was a war zone. Both teams wanted to make up from the last game. We didn’t play very good and obviously they lost, so both teams wanted that win tonight.”
Said Everett coach John Becanic: “I loved how hard we played. That was a physical game and we stood up for each other. I thought tonight was the closest we’ve played all year to playoff hockey.”
With all the controversy that arose following Everett’s 2-1 victory in Spokane on Wednesday — the bust up between Everett leading scorer Kyle Beach and Spokane captain Chris Bruton that left Beach with a concussion, Bruton with a suspension and Spokane coach Bill Peters with an accusation — there was an air of anticipation surrounding Saturday’s game about whether tempers would explode again.
But even though there still seemed to be some contention between the two teams even without Beach and Bruton playing — the game included plenty of hitting, two fights and 32 total penalties — special teams turned out to be the story. The Tips received three power plays in the first period and scored on all three to take control of the game.
Bauer scored the final two goals of the first period, then scored again early in the second, giving him a natural hat trick in the span of 8 minutes, 10 seconds. It was Bauer’s first Western Hockey League hat trick.
“Finally,” the four-year veteran said about his first hat trick. “It feels awesome getting my first hat trick in the Dub (WHL).
“I think it was just keeping things simple and putting pucks on net,” Bauer added about the team’s power-play success. “Gendur shoots that puck and just trickles through and I was there to beat it in. We were just keeping things simple.”
The power plays slanted heavily in Everett’s favor. The Tips finished the game with 10 power plays to Spokane’s five, and Everett received the game’s first eight power plays.
“I think the penalties we drew we deserved,” Becanic said. “I don’t know if we took any penalties that should have been called, but we worked hard to draw penalties. The only way you draw penalties is by having the puck and I thought we did a good job of puck protection and wanting the puck.”
Said Peters: “I know all eight (penalties in the first two periods that led to Everett power plays) we took we deserved.
“We gave up three power-play goals in Seattle (on Friday) so on this trip we’ve given up seven power-play goals, so obviously our inability to stay out of the box is hurting us right now.”
Judd Blackwater and Stefan Ulmer scored third-period goals for Spokane, which was also playing without its leading scorer Drayson Bowman because of a shoulder injury, to make things interesting. Chiefs goaltender Dustin Tokarski stopped 12 of the 16 shots he faced before being pulled in favor of Kevin Armstrong, who saved all seven shots he saw.
Peters was fined $500 by the league Saturday for his comments in the days following Wednesday’s incident, when he insinuated that Beach was faking his injury. He declined to comment further on the incident.
The first period couldn’t have gone much better for Everett as the Tips received three power plays, scored on all three and left the ice for the first intermission to a standing ovation, leading 3-0.
The first goal came at 10:55 when Gendur put a shot from the point into the top corner. The second came at 14:15 when a Gendur shot trickled through Tokarski’s pads and Bauer dived in to poke the puck over the line. The third was at 18:42 on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play, Bauer the beneficiary.
Bauer then completed his hat trick with another power-play goal 2:25 into the second period, forcing a shot through Tokarski that sent Tokarski to the bench in favor of Armstrong.
Blackwater put the Chiefs on the board at 6:31 of the third on a backdoor feed from Tyler Johnson. Ulmer then scored at 17:51 on a nice move at the right point and a shot into the far corner.
Silvertips 4, Chiefs 2
@5. NHL box :First Period—1, Everett, Gendur 18 (Burt, Mistrelbacher), 10:05 (pp). 2, Everett, Bauer 18 (Gendur, Harty), 14:15 (pp). 3, Everett, Bauer 19 (Hamill, Harty), 18:42 (pp). Penalties—Wahl, Spokane (hooking), 8:25; Blackwater, Spokane (roughing-fighting), 13:55; Potuer, Everett (fighting), 13:55; Letts, Spokane (roughing), 18:02; Karamnov, Everett (roughing), 18:02; Reddington, Spokane (roughing-fighting), 18:23; Rutherford, Spokane (10-minute misconduct), 18:23; Ellington, Everett (fighting), 18:23; Dailey, Everett (10-minute misconduct), 18:23.
Second Period—4, Everett, Bauer 20 (Harper, Gendur), 2:25 (pp). Penalties—Letts, Spokane (elbowing), 0:15; Falk, Spokane (hooking), 2:13; Glass, Spokane (delay of game), 4:35; Koper, Spokane (roughing-roughing), 7:59; Kieffer, Everett (roughing-roughing), 7:59; Kelner, Spokane (roughing-roughing), 12:53.
Third Period—5, Spokane, Blackwater 15 (Johnson, Rutherford), 6:31. 6, Spokane, Ulmer 2 (Blackwater), 17:51. Penalties—Glass, Spokane (unsportsmanlike conduct), 0:34; Crowley, Everett (tripping), 0:34; Ellington, Everett (unsportsmanlike conduct), 0:34; Skauge Evt (hooking), 4:14; Kelner, Spokane (roughing), 7:34; Cowen, Spokane (slashing), 10:28; Harty, Everett (charging), 10:56; Hamill, Everett (hooking), 12:43; Koper, Spokane (cross checking), 17:31; Alexander, Everett (roughing), 17:31; Ellington, Everett (roughing), 18:41; Blackwater, Spokane (roughing), 20:00.
Shots on goal—Spokane 10-3-11—24. Everett 12-7-4—23. Power-play opportunities—Spokane 0 of 5. Everett 4 of 10.
Goalies—Spokane, Tokarski 18-5-0-2 (16 shots, 12 saves), Armstrong (7 shots, 7 saves). Everett, Irving 20-16-0-2 (24 shots, 22 saves).
Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog: www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog