Everett didn’t win, but there were some positives for the Tips. Everett came back from allowing a goal on the game’s first shift and earned an important point, which could be vital considering the caliber of opponents the Tips face over the next two weeks will make points extremely difficult to come by. Everett also dramatically cut down on the shots against. The Tips were outshot by an average of 48-20 over the previous four games. Tonight Everett allowed just 25 shots over 65 minutes.
But the offense continues to be an issue for the Tips. While Everett performed better in its own end, the Tips were still pretty much the same in the opponent’s zone, managing just 22 shots. Everett also struggled on the power play, going 0-for-6.
When the shootout arrived, Everett interim coach Garry Davidson made some unexpected choices, tabbing rookies Cole MacDonald and Logan Aasman for their first shootout attempts in the WHL. To their credit, both MacDonald and Aasman had Tri-City goaltender Luke Lee-Knight beat. However, MacDonald lost control and Aasman had a goal overruled upon video review. Tri-City went with its two big guns, Justin Feser and Malte Stromwall, and both scored as the Americans won the shootout 2-0.
Interesting note about the four goaltenders who suited up tonight. For Tri-City, Lee-Knight was cut by the Americans during the preseason — about the fourth time in his WHL career that Lee-Knight was given up on — and back-up Troy Trombley was cut by the Tips in the preseason. For Everett, Daniel Cotton was on the verge of being cut by Seattle when the Tips came calling in desperation, and Nik Amundrud was a 15-year-old emergency call-up. It’s not difficult to imagine a scenario where none of these four suited up once in the WHL this season.
Everett seemed stunned after allowing a goal on the first shift, and the Tips didn’t seem to recover until about midway through the first period, when Everett got its first four shots on goal in the same shift. The game was competitive from that point foward.
First star: Daniel Cotton, Everett. 24 saves, had some moments where he really had to scramble to keep the puck out of the net. There was a moment following a scramble in the third when I thought we were going to see Amundrud forced into his WHL debut, as Cotton seemed pained. But after being given a moment, Cotton was able to continue.
Second star: Lee-Knight. 21 saves, a solid effort.
Third star: Aasman. One goal, also hit the post.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Stromwall. One goal and scored in the shootout, also had other chances denied by Cotton.