BLOG: Happy Mother’s Day from the Silvertips morning skate

Happy Mother’s Day from the Saskatchewan prairie town of Swift Current.

The Everett Silvertips forced tonight’s Game 6 with a 6-3 win back home at Angel of the Winds Arena Friday and will look to reach Game 7 tonight when the puck drops at 6 p.m. Pacific time.

Both teams flew on the WHL charter from Vancouver Saturday morning to Regina. From there it’s about two-and-a-half hours due west to Swift Current. You get to go through fellow WHL East Division city Moose Jaw on the way. Since Saturday was a travel day both teams took the ice Sunday morning to get their legs going in preparation for tonight.

“We’re really exited to be back here and have another chance,” Everett forward Bryce Kindopp said Sunday morning. “Our backs are against the wall, but we’re a resilient group right now and we know what it takes to win. I think if we just play right we’ll be fine.”

The Tips had fans in attendance as the Price family from Marysville was at the morning skate. Mike and Christina, along with their 6-year-old son Cavan flew from Abbotsford, B.C., to Calgary yesterday and drove the rest of the way to Swift Current. The Prices have been season-ticket holders for more than a decade and Cavan attended his first Tips game at three months old. He’s also been playing hockey since he was two.

Mike said the family tries to take a U.S. Division trip to follow the team every year, but added that “this is the biggest trip we’ve taken for hockey.” The family stopped in Strathmore, Alberta, en route to Swift Current Saturday and ran into former Silvertip Chad Bassen at McDonald’s after Bassen recognized their Tips sweaters.

Bassen had 10 goals and 14 assists as an overager for Everett’s inaugural team that won the franchise’s only other Western Conference championship. He has been playing professionally in Germany ever since.

Christina said the family didn’t attend any other away games during the 2018 WHL playoffs so they could save their vacation time and school absences in case the Tips reached the championship series.

“We took a gamble, but it was worth it,” Christina said, while Cavan got to go watch morning skate on the bench alongside Tips head coach Dennis Williams.

The mood was relatively light among the Tips players and staffers during morning skate. That will change tonight in what is a notoriously loud and passionate arena.

“It’s definitely a cool, unique environment to play in,” Kindopp said. “It’s really loud and I think a really good start will help us quiet the crowd a little bit.”

For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.

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