The Game (Story)
EVERETT – Tuesday games are rare in the WHL.
But overtime games? Not nearly so much, especially for the Everett Silvertips, who fell 4-3 in overtime to the visiting Regina Pats before 3,234 fans Tuesday night at Xfinity Arena.
It was Everett’s fourth overtime contest in its last five games and fifth overtime game in its last seven.
Recently acquired Regina forward Cole Sanford potted the game-winner on a power play with less than three seconds remaining in overtime as the Pats overcame a 3-1 third-period deficit in the only matchup this season between the teams.
Despite the loss the Tips (24-12-2-2, 52 points) picked up one point in the standings and moved five points ahead of second-place Seattle.
The Silvertips, playing their fourth game in five nights, were whistled for an uncharacteristic seven penalties.
“We (usually) take one or two penalties a game and by the time we hit the second period we were up to six,” Everett head coach Kevin Constantine said. “When you’re playing four in five nights and then you tax some of those guys more (on the penalty kill) you lose a bit of your edge to your game. You lose a bit of the energy to your game.”
The final penalty came with 19 seconds remaining in overtime and it proved fatal as Sanford beat Everett goaltender Mario Petit for the game-winner in his first game as a Pat.
“Obviously we had a bunch of power plays in the first that we didn’t connect on,” said Sanford, who was acquired in a deadline deal from Medicine Hat on Sunday. “(Austin) Wagner did a great job to get us on the power play (in overtime) and we capitalized.”
It was the first game for Sanford in about a week. He sat out of Medicine Hat’s games last weekend while waiting for the trade that sent him to the Pats.
“I felt it – my legs were tight out there,” Sanford said. “That comes with not playing in a week. They play with so much speed and obviously it took me a period to get my legs back.”
Petit, making just his third start of the season in relief of Carter Hart, recorded 19 saves.
“We got a lot of games coming,” Constantine said. “I don’t think we can play (Hart) every game and Mario has worked hard. He deserves to get opportunities when it’s the right situation and we felt like tonight was the right situation.”
Everett twice led by two goals, including a 3-1 advantage through two periods. Then the Pats’ Adam Brooks scored twice from the left side of the circle, at 9:02 and 14:24 in the third, to tie the game at 3-3.
During the third the Tips couldn’t take advantage of two power play opportunities as they finished 1-for-6 with the man advantage on the night.
“We got a little too cute – a little too fancy,” Constantine said. “You gotta make plays in this game to be good and you gotta have confidence to be good. But you gotta make plays based on situations and scores, and so there’s always choices about the plays you make.
“I thought we lost the discipline of making choices that matched the game,” he continued. “And so you just have to careful of playing the game different than what you are as a team. I didn’t like our choices that we made in some offensive situations in the last period.”
Everett scored twice in the opening period on a power play wrister from the left circle from Cole MacDonald and a backhanded flick from Remi Laurencelle on a rebound.
The Tips then went down to three skaters when Lucas Skrumeda and Dawson Leedahl took penalties a minute apart near the end of the first. The Tips killed the first penalty before the first period ended, and killed the second 24 seconds into the second period.
The Pats reached the scoreboard, however, at the 11:11 mark as the Tips’ sixth penalty finally caught up with them. Jake Leschyshyn cut Everett’s lead in half from the left circle for a power play goal that made it 2-1.
Everett regained the two-goal lead when Noah Juulsen found Carson Stadnyk wide open at the left circle with a cross-ice pass. Stadnyk slapped it into the open net at 19:33 in the second and the Tips took a 3-1 lead into the third.
“Everyone knows their game – they shut down (offenses) and they do a really good job doing that,” Sanford said of the Tips.
Except for Tuesday and the result was a standings point given away.
Notes: Silvertips forward Devon Skoleski missed his third consecutive game Tuesday after he sustained a concussion during last Friday’s game at Kelowna. He is listed on this week’s WHL injury report as week-to-week… Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, a Regina native, attended Tuesday’s game. Ryan played midget hockey growing up in Saskatchewan and once tried out for the Pats.
The Game The Tips felt good after Saturday night’s 3-2 overtime loss at Seattle because they battled back from a 2-0 deficit to steal a point from the Thunderbirds.
It was the opposite feeling Tuesday when the Tips watched leads of 2-0 and 3-1 slip away as they had to settle for one point as Regina beat them 4-3 in overtime.
So it goes. Sometimes you feel fortunate by earning a point and sometimes you feel like you gave one away.
The good news for the Tips is that way up north Prince George routed the T-Birds 6-2, so Everett saw its lead in the standings stretch to five rather than potentially drop to two.
Mario Petit got the start tonight at goaltender after Carter Hart played all three games this weekend. Constantine hinted that Petit might see more playing time as the schedule maintains an intense pace over the remainder of the season. The Tips have been playing catch-up in games played all season and will continue to do so moving forward.
In case you missed it above, Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan attended the game and was introduced to the crowd during the first intermission, which led to an impromptu “SEA-HAWKS!” chant.
Ryan once tried out for the Pats (who cut him) and several other WHL teams as a goaltender before focusing on football. He said he’s fine after sustaining a broken nose during the Seahawks’ playoff game in Minnesota, and also said he was rooting for the Silvertips because “they never cut me.”
The Turning Point
Adam Brooks scored twice in the third period to force overtime.
1. Everett F Remi Laurencelle: The Tips overager had a goal and two assists
2. Regina F Adam Brooks: Brooks scored two goals and added an assist in the comeback victory
3. Everett F Carson Stadnyk: The overager had a goal and an assist.
Honorable mention: Regina F Cole Sanford scored the winning goal… Everett D Noah Juulsen had two assists.