The Everett Silvertips held a split-squad practice Tuesday following a lengthy on-ice session Monday.
Tuesday’s practice split into two groups to maximize the number of puck touches each player received, head coach Dennis Williams said.
“We had a good hard work yesterday with a lot of D-zone coverage and a lot of compete and a lot of battle,” Williams said. “Today we wanted to make sure guys were getting a lot of puck touches and getting an opportunity to shoot pucks and handle pucks.”
The big news of the week is that Carter Hart has returned to practice after missing about a month due to mononucleosis:
Carter Hart's back. Get it? pic.twitter.com/Z2ZGs4FqFY
— Jesse Geleynse (@JesseGeleynse) October 24, 2017
Hart lost more than 15 pounds due to the mono, but has made much of that weight back.
“It felt good to get to get back out there, but at the same time you can sorta feel like there’s still that fatigue factor,” Hart said. “Even today I still have that fatigue factor, but it’s coming around, and I’m feeling better every day and working hard on it off the ice to get back and get myself back into shape, and working to get back as soon as I can.”
There are no fewer than four goaltenders currently on the roster with Hart joining Dustin Wolf, Blake Lyda and Dorrin Luding. Wolf has been cleared after returning to practice last week following offseason hip surgery. Luding has seen most of the minutes, while 15-year-old Blake Lyda made his WHL debut last week against the Tri-City Americans.
Williams was non-committal when asked about who will play this weekend.
“Right now we’re playing it day-by-day on how Carter and Dustin feel,” Williams said. “I’m hoping both are obviously ready to go this weekend. Carter had his first full practice in that hour and stayed out and had a lot of good reps by our forwards down there, and Wolfie is looking well there too so he’s getting a lot of reps. Then of course with Luding and Lyda we’re kind of at a crossroads on health with some of these guys, but for right now it’s day-to-day.”
Per the weekly WHL injury report Hart is out “2-to-7 days” and Wolf is out “5-to-10 days,” so it’s entirely conceivable one or both of them could be available this weekend when the Tips play at Kamloops and Portland. Forward Dawson Butt is also out 5-to-14 days with an upper body injury.
The Silvertips practice the next two days at Lynnwood Ice Arena and will leave for Kamloops following practice early Thursday afternoon.
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