Comeback kids

  • By Nick Patterson / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:00pm
  • Sports

EVERETT – Jason Fransoo is an unheralded member of the Everett Silvertips. A defenseman who’s asked to concern himself with his own zone rather than the opponent’s, it’s often better when observers don’t notice his presence on the ice.

Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

The Silvertips’ Jason Fransoo (2) is surrounded by his teammates after scoring the tie-breaking goal with 1:20 to play Wednesday night in Game 4 of the second round WHL playoff series at the Everett Events Center.

But Fransoo made himself noticed Wednesday night, and his efforts worked 5,314 Silvertips fans at the Everett Events Center into a frenzy.

Fransoo scored the game-winning goal with 1 minute, 20 seconds remaining in the third period to complete a stirring comeback, and the Silvertips defeated the Kelowna Rockets 3-2 in Game 4 of their second-round playoff series.

“I’m not surprised at all,” a beaming Fransoo said about the game-winning goal. “We just kept plugging away and eventually they’re going to go in. I had a good screen in front of the net, shot it, and that’s how playoff goals are scored.”

On a night when Everett’s players seemed to have a slight case of disconnect with one another all night, the Tips nonetheless kept grinding away and managed to overturn a 2-0 deficit. Kyle Beach and John Lammers scored the goals that tied the score, and Fransoo added the finishing touch by blasting a one-timer through Kelowna goaltender Derek Yeomans.

“I don’t think I’ve ever skated that fast to Fransoo in my life,” Lammers said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. The crowd was electric and really loud, and that makes it extra special. It’s just a great feeling.”

Everett took a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, an unlikely scenario against the defending WHL champions. The Tips can wrap it up with a win in Game 5 Friday in Kelowna.

“We knew anything’s possible in the playoffs,” Lammers said. “They’re still a good team and we know it takes four games to win. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us still, they’re the defending champs for a reason.”

Leland Irving made 30 saves in goal for Everett, and he received a big assist from Brady Calla, who poked a loose puck off the goal line just seconds before Fransoo scored his goal.

“Kelowna really outplayed us for two periods,” Everett coach Kevin Constantine said. “Irving again tonight gave us a chance, and when you’re only down one you always got a chance. I don’t even know how well we played in the third, but at least we mentally hung in there long enough to have something good happen. So it was a real good effort by our guys to not give up on the game.”

Troy Ofukany scored both goals for Kelowna and Yeomans finished with 15 saves.

It looked like the series was about to be evened up when Ofukany scored his second goal at 15:17 of the second period, giving the Rockets a 2-0 advantage.

But Beach, the 16-year-old newcomer who just joined Everett from his midget team in Tuesday’s playoff game, immediately got a goal back to renew the Tips’ hopes.

Thirty-eight seconds after Ofukany scored, the Tips worked the puck into the left corner to Beach. Beach threw the puck toward goal and it somehow slipped behind Yeomans from an impossible angle, cutting Kelowna’s lead to 2-1.

“I think the goal from Beach, just a little hope play to the front of the net, gave them life,” Kelowna coach Jeff Truitt said. “They battled away from there. You have to give them credit for that, but we had our opportunities as well.”

Lammers tied the score 8:56 into the third period, with Calla again playing a role. Calla won the puck behind the Kelowna net and whipped it out in front of the net. Lammers, crashing the net hard, managed to poke it under Yeomans to make it a new game.

Fransoo gave Everett the win.

Zach Hamill skated the puck into the zone on the right and fed a pass across the blue line to Lammers. Lammers was unable to handle the pass, but it fell right for Fransoo to one-time a shot through traffic. Yeomans got a piece of the shot, but the puck slipped between his legs.

” (Fransoo) has played pretty good hockey for us over the last month,” Constantine said. “The right person got rewarded for how hard he’s worked.”

Silvertips 3, Rockets 2



First Period-1, Kelowna, Ofukany 1 (Comeau, Keller), 10:42. Penalties-Dowzak, Kelowna (hooking), 7:30; Wheat, Everett (hooking), 7:37; Dowzak, Kelowna (roughing), 11:01; Potuer, Everett (holding), 14:14.

Second Period-2, Kelowna, Ofukany 2 (Edler, Howarth), 15:17 (pp). 3, Everett, Beach 1 (Potuer, Fransoo), 15:55. Penalties-Cumiskey, Kelowna (holding), 8:56; Fransoo, Everett (hooking), 11:26; Mueller, Everett (hooking), 13:20; Comeau, Kelowna (diving), 18:10; Alic, Everett (slashing), 18:10.

Third Period-4, Everett, Lammers 3 (Calla, Hamill), 8:56. 5, Everett, Fransoo 1 (Lammers, Hamill), 18:40. Penalties-Ofukany, Kelowna (high sticking), 1:06; Card, Kelowna (roughing), 20:00; Spurgeon, Kelowna (roughing), 20:00; Thoring, Everett (roughing), 20:00; Wheat, Everett (roughing), 20:00.

Shots on goal-Kelowna 9-15-8-32. Everett 3-8-7-18. Power-play opportunities-Kelowna 1 of 4. Everett 0 of 4.

Goalies-Kelowna, Yeomans 5-5 (18 shots, 15 saves). Everett, Irving 7-2 (32 shots, 30 saves).


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