Rough night for the Tips in their home opener as an excitable crowd was never able to experience its release. But not a total disaster, either, as the Tips played more even with the Giants than they typically have since Don Hay took over in Vancouver, getting outshot just 33-30.
Special teams were the story. Vancouver ripped apart Everett’s penalty kill, scoring on three of its first five power-play opportunities. Meanwhile, the Tips weren’t able to do anything on their chances with the advantage, going 0-for-8.
It was also a big night for Vancouver goaltender Jamie Tucker. The 17-year-old will remember his WHL debut for a long time as he made 30 saves to post a shutout.
It wasn’t a real banner night for Everett’s veterans. Several had off nights or took ill-advised penalties, and a few found themselves glued to the bench during the third period.
Everett coach John Becanic also channeled his old boss Kevin Constantine, pulling goaltender Shayne Barrie with nearly nine minutes remaining while trailing 3-0. The Tips responded with two minutes of sustained pressure, but gave up the inevitable empty netter with seven minutes to go.
All-in-all, about what one would expect from a young team taking on one of the league’s best. It’s going to take time before the Tips reach Vancouver’s level.
In the space of 90 seconds midway through the first period, Tucker saved a Campbell Elynuik breakaway and robbed Markus McCrea with a stunning reaction glove save, preserving Vancouver’s 1-0 lead.
HIT OF THE DAY
Early in the first period Everett’s Cameron Abney just leveled Neil Manning with a shoulder charge.
First star: Tucker. Couldn’t ask for a better WHL debut.
Second star: Craig Schira, Vancouver. D-man had two assists and controlled both ends of the ice.
Third star: Manning. A goal and an assist for the D-man.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Mike Berube, Vancouver. He and Schira, Vancouver’s two overage defensemen, pulled the strings tonight.
Everett has two players, left wing Kyle Beach (Chicago) and defenseman Taylor Ellington (Vancouver) away at NHL training camps. Right wing Matthew Ius was attending to a personal function and left wing Tyler Parker (ankle) was out injured, so the 15-year-old Elynuik was called up for his WHL debut to fill out the forward ranks. Defensemen Brenden Stephen and Paul Sohor were healthy scratches.
Vancouver was missing three players to NHL camps: defensemen Jonathon Blum (Nashville) and Brent Regner (Columbus) and goaltender Tyson Sexsmith (San Jose). Defensemen Curtis Kulchar (knee) and Bronson Maschmeyer (ankle) were out injured, meaning a call-up for 16-year-old defenseman Simon Witt. Left wing Chris Cloud was the odd man out among Vancouver’s four overagers. J.T. Barnett was a healthy scratch.