Fast start leads Tips past rival Thunderbirds

Everett scored three goals in the first period on its way to a 5-1 win over Seattle.

KENT — Everett didn’t want to leave any doubt. From the opening puck drop in their U.S. Division rival’s home rink, the Silvertips aspired to suck the life out of the building from the very start.

That’s how you survive on the road.

As Wyatte Wylie whizzed a snap shot off a Thunderbirds player and into the back of the net, the crowd at the ShoWare Center was left puzzled after their team was without a shot on the board and a three-goal deficit.

The Silvertips came out buzzing in the first period, potting a trio of goals in the opening 20 minutes, and Connor Dewar recorded a pair of goals in Everett’s 5-1 win over Seattle on Friday.

“We knew the start was going to be really important, and we got that,” Silvertips assistant coach Louis Mass said. “That’s a really good way to suck the energy out of a building. They were able to battle back into the game and get their crowd behind them, but it was probably a little too late.”

The Silvertips (13-6-0-0) prevailed in the second of 10 meetings between the two U.S. Division rivals. Everett is 2-0 against the Thunderbirds this season (7-8-2-0) and 6-2 against the division as a whole.

Connor Dewar recorded his 13th goal of the season to put the Silvertips up 1-0 at the 1:47 mark of the game. He broke free behind the Thunderbirds’ defense and his wrist shot deflected off Seattle goaltender Liam Hughes’ leg pad and trickled in.

Jalen Price chipped in his first goal of the season with 12:16 remaining in the first period, punching in a rebound past Hughes’ blocker side to put Everett up 2-0, and Wyatte Wylie put Everett up 3-0 at the 1:41 mark with his third tally of the season when his snap shot ricocheted off a Seattle player and into the back of the net.

The Silvertips dominated possession in the first and led shots on goal 18-1 after the opening period.

It got chippy toward the end of the first when Matthew Wedman boarded Luke Ormsby and the Silvertips came to his defense, sparking some pushing and shoving that evolved into an exchange of punches. A bevy of roughing calls were handed out, while Everett’s Jake Christiansen and Gianni Fairbrother and Seattle’s Simon Kubicek and Jake Lee were issued 10-minute misconducts.

“It’s pretty typical,” Mass said. “Seattle was trying to get some momentum for themselves — we do the same thing when we get down in a game and we need to get a little bit of momentum, sometimes that’s a great way to do it. It wasn’t any surprise and obviously there is a long history in this rivalry with some chippy hockey and that’s what it is. It’s hockey. It’s nothing we can’t be prepared for and deal with and we tried to do our best to keep our discipline. We slipped a bit, but hey, as long as we answer the bell when we need to.”

Dewar, the Silvertips’ captain, potted his second goal of the evening with 14:01 remaining in regulation, slicing through Seattle’s defense and sniping a shot past Hughes from the slot to extend Everett’s lead to 4-0.

Riley Sutter chipped in two assists and Wylie added a helper for the Silvertips.

The Thunderbirds’ lone score of the game was a power-play goal from defenseman Reece Harsch with 6:53 remaining. The 1999-born blueliner snapped a shot off a feed from Jake Lee past Silvertips goaltender Dustin Wolf’s blocker side.

Wolf (13-6-0-0) didn’t see much action, but stopped 24 of 25 of shots.

“It’s hard for goaltenders to not see a lot of shots early and stay sharp,” Mass said. “Mentally, he’s one of those guys that is really even-keeled, he’s got that perfect goaltender mentality. He had to make some tough saves there late and he was able to stay prepared for that and stay sharp.”

Hughes (7-6-1-0) stopped 36 of 40 shots for the Thunderbirds.

Everett will complete it’s third stretch of three games in three days on Sunday, as the Silvertips travel back to Kamloops for a 5:00 p.m. puck drop. Everett trounced the Blazers, 6-1, on Friday.

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