EVERETT—The Everett Silvertips blanked the Spokane Chiefs, 4-0, on Wednesday.
Here are the three takeaways:
1. Second power play poses legitimate threat
This isn’t a relatively new development, although the impact of Everett’s second power-play unit hasn’t been as prominent as it was on Wednesday, perhaps.
Half of Everett’s goals tonight were courtesy of the Silvertips’ second power-play unit of Gianni Fairbrother, Ronan Seeley, Michal Gut, Jackson Berezowski and Max Patterson.
“Well, if you’d ask them, they’d say they’re the first,” Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said. “1A and 1B. But it was good, eh? That group has been doing well, they’ve kept it simple off it and you need to have two units in order to be successful in this league, or else you play one unit for 90 seconds. You saw that at the beginning of the year with us. We had guys hurt and didn’t have bodies.”
The first goal was a product of an impressive wrist shot from Gut, who skated up into the high slot and snapped a shot past Spokane netminder Lukas Parik for his sixth tally of the season in the second period.
The second was courtesy of Fairbrother, who buried a backdoor pass from Patterson that leaked to his spot on the left circle to put the Silvertips up 4-0 in the second period.
The balance between Everett’s first and power play units has sparked a friendly rivalry in the Silvertips’ dressing room.
Williams said when he met with the second group before the game, the quintet strutted out of his office and called for “PP2” to come in, which would be the unit with Wyatte Wylie, Cole Fonstad, Bryce Kindopp, Gage Goncalves and Martin Fasko-Rudas on it.
No matter who’s PP1 and who’s PP2, both units are getting results, and the Silvertips’ power-play is the main beneficiary.
After starting the season with one of the worst power plays in the Western Hockey League (14.3 percent, tied for 2oth) through eight games, the Silvertips now boast the best. After the two-for-four outing on Wednesday, they’ve hiked their success rate up to 25.5, vaulting Everett over Kamloops, which sits at 25.2 percent.
2. Anderson tallies first career goal
Dylan Anderson likely won’t put it on his career highlight reel, but his shot in the second period is one he’ll remember forever.
The 17-year-old rookie defenseman notched his first career WHL goal to put the Silvertips up 3-0 in the middle stanza.
“It feels great,” Anderson said. “I knew it would come eventually, but it feels awesome. The guys put some good work in and gave it to me, which was pretty nice.”
His snap shot pinballed around the slot area and found the back of the net. But, as Anderson will remind you: They don’t ask how, they just ask how many.
“I mean, it probably hit a couple bodies or one or two,” Anderson said. “I was fortunate to get that one to go in.”
3. Spokane dominance
The Silvertips, for whatever reason, has the Chiefs’ number this season.
Everett improved to 5-0-0 against Spokane this season with the emphatic win on Wednesday. The first three in the series were decided by a 4-3 score, but lately, the Silvertips have had no problem with a Spokane offensive attack that’s regarded as one of the best in the Western Conference, shutting them out by a combined 6-0 score.
Last year was much of the same, as the Silvertips were 6-0-2 against the Chiefs in 2018-2019. But, of course, the Chiefs dispatched the Silvertips in five games in the two teams’ Western Conference semifinal playoff series, if that tells you anything.
The Silvertips host archrival Seattle on Saturday for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop.
Horton’s three stars
1. Michal Gut: Finished with a goal and two assists, His third three-point effort of the season and second against the Spokane Chiefs.
2. Ronan Seeley: Posted a goal and an assist on Saturday. In his last four games, Seeley has registered seven points.
3. Dustin Wolf: Recorded his league-leading fourth shutout.
Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter, @JoshHortonEDH