Kevin Constantine had an addition to the front of his black Everett Silvertips hoodie Tuesday when he took the community rink ice inside Xfinity Arena.
Sewn diagonally across the empty black space below the Tips logo was a patch with the phrase “Win as One.” Turns out the patch was a gift that arrived in Constantine’s Xfinity Arena mailbox from longtime season-ticket holder Jim Staniford of Everett’s Vintage Cafe. Constantine had equipment manager James Stucky affix the patch across the lower portion of his practice sweatshirt.
I pointed out that it fits with the Silvertips’ theme of ‘WIN’ standing as an acronym for “What’s Important Next” and Constantine concurred. And of course, that can only be done by working together (perhaps as ‘One’).
Besides that tidbit Tuesday was a very brief on-ice session for the Silvertips before they hopped on the bus for Kelowna where they take on the red-hot Rockets Wednesday at Prospera Place.
Sunday’s 4-3 loss at Portland, while devastating, still doesn’t take Everett’s division-title hopes out of its own hands. Nevertheless it was worth getting the pulse of the team leadership regarding the impact of the defeat.
“I think we just gotta move on past that,” captain Noah Juulsen said. “We’ve got four games left, put that behind us and just keep going.”
“I think it’s a good lesson for us moving forward into the playoffs so we’ll take that,” added alternate captain Matt Fonteyne. “We’d rather have that happen in the regular season than Game 2 or 3 in the playoffs.”
The prospect of a fifth division-title banner being raised to the Xfinity Arena rafters remains within grasp, but its importance goes away almost immediately whether the Tips claim it or not.
“I’m an opportunistic personality,” Constantine said. “We have an opportunity to be the U.S. Division champs and then we have a day to reflect on that, and it won’t matter whether we’ve won or lost, we’ll have a playoff round to play.”
“You play the whole season hoping you can be in this position at the end so you just need to take it one game at a time,” Fonteyne added, “and regardless of what happens we just need to put it behind us, whether we win the division or we don’t win the division. But it’s all about the playoffs. It doesn’t matter who wins the division after the regular season.”
Overage defenseman Aaron Irving was back at practice Tuesday after missing all three weekend games with an upper body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day on the WHL injury report, but his full participation in practice indicates he’s ready to go. Forward Bryce Kindopp was in street clothes and sitting in the stands. He’s also listed as day-to-day (upper body) on the weekly report.
In other news:
– The Tips announced the signing of 2001-born forward Conrad Mitchell to a WHL standard player agreement Tuesday. Mitchell has grown to 6-foot-5 and 192 pounds already in his midget season.
“Conrad’s size is an obvious advantage, and he is a big kid who demands room but can convert chances, create his own, is still growing, and is an individual whom we’re confident can be a great fit for our mold,” said Bil LaForge, Everett’s director of player personnel in a press release. “He plays the game hard with skill, finishes checks, skates well for a big guy, and carries the best shot I’ve seen at his level for a while. His development curve is tremendous.”
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) March 14, 2017
You can read the full release here.
– The Regina Pats clinched the Scotty Munro Trophy as regular-season WHL champions Tuesday. Former Tips captain Dawson Leedahl is an overage forward for the Pats who scored a goal in Everett’s 4-2 win in the Saskatchewan capital on Valentine’s Day.
– Victoria Royals head coach Dave Lowry and Mitchell Prowse tested positive for mumps though they’ve been cleared to return to hockey operations. Remember, the Tips play a home-and-home with the Royals this weekend.
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