Matt Fonteyne had an interesting take on the Everett Silvertips’ early-season swoon that saw them floundering at 4-9-1 when the calendar reached late October.
He thought that difficult start helped them later on in the season.
“Getting off to that start would make a lot of teams fold, but I think that goes to show the kind of character we have in our room and the kind of guys we have – the no-quit attitude, that when things get tough you don’t roll over, you just keep going and keep chugging along,” the co-captain said following Tuesday’s exit meetings.
“It’s a little tough to say, but I think it probably benefited us getting out to that tough start because we know we can get back from being down, whether it’s down in a game, down in a series, down in a period.”
That manifested itself in Game 4 of their second-round series against Portland where the Tips led 1-0 after two periods. Portland tied it early in the third before a chaotic finish. The game went from 1-1 to 2-1 Portland, to 2-2 to 3-2 Everett in about two minutes of real time. Everett held on for the 3-2 victory and a 3-1 series lead, and the Tips closed out the Winterhawks in Game 5 the following night.
“It’s something you don’t want to go through, but we were resilient,” Tips overage defenseman Kevin Davis said, echoing his fellow co-captain. “It goes to show the character in that dressing room.”
Davis won it with a slap shot from the point in the extra session to give the Tips their first conference title in 14 years. It was Davis’s second goal of the game.
“The emotion – I’ve never had it so high and so low in the same game,” Fonteyne said.
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) May 12, 2018
Fonteyne has an AHL deal signed with the San Jose Barracuda for next season. If he does not sign an NHL deal during or after the season he will head to college. Davis is still weighing some options. Patrick Bajkov signed a three-year entry-level deal with Florida and will likely play in the AHL next season.
All three overagers played regular minutes for five seasons and led the Tips to heights not seen since 2004.
“To go as far as we did in the playoffs is something us 20s will definitely remember and all the other guys as well,” Bajkov said. “I can’t be more proud to spend my last five years here.”
Kevin, Patrick & Matt – your perseverance, work ethic and dedication has served you well on the ice but it will serve you so much more off the ice throughout life. You are great people and you will be missed. Keep in touch. – C pic.twitter.com/T8wyrUQi8M
— Chris Mast (@MastImages) May 17, 2018
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