EVERETT— The Everett Silvertips blew a two-goal lead and eventually lost, 5-4, in overtime to the Winnipeg Ice on Saturday at Angel of the Winds Arena. Read the game recap here.
Here at three takeaways from the game:
1. Not-so-subtle reminder
Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams isn’t one to mince words or hold back his true feelings when he’s frustrated by something. On Saturday, his team was the subject of his ire.
“I’m thankful we got a point. We didn’t deserve one,” he said. “They were the better hockey club. I thought they competed consistently for 60 minutes. Obviously, after the first period, we weren’t ready to play.
“We knew they were going to come out and throw everything at us and we didn’t answer the bell in the third. We went to overtime and it was a puck possession game and that’s the way it goes. We weren’t very good tonight. I told our guys after the game that we’re not going to win a lot of hockey games when the consistency is not there. It wasn’t there tonight.”
The Silvertips dug themselves into a two-goal deficit after a sluggish start. After climbing out of it and building a two-goal lead of their own, it withered away quickly in the third, with Winnipeg pressing.
“(It was) just poor decisions I think. One after another,” Williams said. “They thought it was going to be easy. Everything has been going well for the group, for the last (four games), and I don’t think we respected our opponent well enough. And good for them. They got two points and they didn’t stray from their gameplan. They easily could have packed it in when it was 4-2 as well. I obviously give credit to our guys for coming back, but we talk always about having to compete and finishing out a game, and we haven’t done it lately. Our third periods have not been good.
“Our 60 minutes have not been there. Our starts haven’t been good and whenever we do get up in a game, we let off the gas a little bit. No team is going to roll over in a 4-2 game.”
Sunday’s home game against Spokane will be a test to see how Williams’ message resonates with his players, he said.
2. The ‘02 line
A silver lining in what was a disappointing result for Everett was the performance from it’s third line of Jackson Berezozwski, Michal Gut and Brendan Lee, who each tallied a goal and an assist in the loss.
The trio has shown some promise. Not only are all three young (born in 2002), but they boast complimenting skill-sets.
Gut has shown flashes of being a two-way center with good vision and a quick release on his shot. Lee, a Seattle native, is swift with superb puck-handling and decent hands around the net. Berezowski is a two-way winger who is undersized, but possesses some grit to his game and a shoot-first mentality.
That line will be leaned upon for offense this year. Although they haven’t played every shift together, with 15 goals and 31 points this season, Lee, Gut and Berezowski have shown the capability of providing secondary scoring and are on great pace for double-digit goals this year.
3. Wrong time to play Winnipeg
Not only was it not the best night for the Silvertips, it wasn’t the best night for anyone in the building hoping to catch a glimpse of either Matthew Savoie or Peyton Krebs.
Savoie, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2019 bantam draft and one of the early consensus players to be taken at the top of the 2022 NHL draft, is expected to play around 30 to 35 games this season, despite being just 15 years old — players under 16 are typically allotted just five games, per Western Hockey League rules. But the only regular-season meeting between Everett and Winnipeg was not one of them.
Krebs, the Vegas Golden Knights’ first-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft, is set to return to Winnipeg’s lineup after slicing open his Achilles over the summer, but his return was scheduled for Sunday at Portland instead of on Saturday against Everett.
Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter, @joshhortonEDH.