EVERETT – Perhaps it’s a product of Kamloops’ desperation. Or maybe it’s just the color of the Blazers’ jerseys. But for whatever reason, Kamloops has brought out the ugly in the Everett Silvertips this week.
Everett suffered its second bad loss in five days against Kamloops, falling 4-0 Friday night in a Western Hockey League game.
Roman Tesliuk, Ray Macias and Kris Hogg scored goals in the first 24 minutes, Kalvin Sagert added an empty-net goal and Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves in net for the Blazers, who also beat Everett 4-2 at Kamloops on Tuesday.
“Certainly the last two games they’ve caused us trouble,” Everett coach Kevin Constantine said. “In Kamloops our overall team effort wasn’t very good at all. Tonight we worked hard. It wasn’t for lack of effort tonight. I would take tonight’s loss much more than I’d take our loss up there when we just weren’t prepared to play.”
Everett, hampered by the absence of key forwards Zach Hamill, Tyler Dietrich and Mark Kress because of injury, never got going Friday. Nothing Constantine tried – from switching goaltenders to repeatedly pulling his goalie in the second and third periods – was able to get the Silvertips (20-13-6-2) on track. Even a five-to-one power-play advantage didn’t help Everett.
Kamloops (17-21-2-2), which is fighting to get out of the cellar in the B.C. Division, won its fourth straight. The Blazers have beaten Everett two straight after the Tips won the first two meetings by a combined score of 9-0.
“I think we definitely tried to keep it simple (in the last two games against Everett),” Dubnyk said. “I think the most important thing has been our starts. I think we outplayed them in the first and scoring the first goal was key. We just tried to dictate the play as much as we could instead of sitting back, which I think we did a lot of in the previous games against Everett.”
Michael Wall had a tough night in goal for Everett, giving up three goals on 13 shots before being pulled 3 minutes, 17 seconds into the second period.
Kamloops created the most scoring opportunities in the first period and were finally rewarded at 15:11. On the power play, Tesliuk one-timed a shot from the left point into the upper-right corner, giving the Blazers a 1-0 lead with his fourth goal of the season.
Kamloops then doubled its lead with 23.4 seconds remaining in the period. Wall was trying to turn Aaron Richards’ tame shot from the left circle into the left corner. However, Macias raced in to intercept the redirect and tap it in, making it 2-0 with his fifth of the season.
The Blazers then secured their lead 3:17 into the second period. Moises Guiterrez, raced past Shaun Heshka for a loose puck and fired from a tight angle on the right. Wall made the save, but the puck hung up at his feet and Hogg stuffed it under Wall, upping the lead to 3-0 with his 11th of the season and sending Wall to the bench.
“The key goal was their goal right at the end of the first period that put us down 2-0,” Constantine said. “Then to go start the third and be down another one there, that’s a tough battle coming back from three when you have guys who can contribute offensively like a Hamill and a Kress and a Dietrich out. We dug ourselves a pretty big hole that was tough to get out of.”
Sagert scored his third of the season the length of the ice into an empty net at 8:04 of the third period. Everett goalie Leland Irving was pulled every time the Tips had a faceoff in the Kamloops zone the first eight minutes of the third period.
Slap shots: Hamill was scratched after sitting out the final two periods Friday against Spokane because of blurry vision. … The injury crisis at forward forced the Tips to dress eight defensemen. Ryan Blatchford and Jonathan Harty each saw time at forward. … Kamloops played without its captain, center Jarret Lukin. The 19-year-old Lukin, who’s been out more than a month with a broken finger, had been listed as day-to-day.
Blazers 4, Silvertips 0
First Period-1, Kamloops, Tesliuk 4 (Richards, Macias), 15:11 (pp). 2, Kamloops, Macias 6 (Richards), 19:37. Second Period-3, Kamloops, Hogg 11 (Gutierrez), 3:17. Third Period-4, Kamloops, Sagert 3, 8:04 (en). Shots on goal-Kamloops 10-5-13-28. Everett 5-11-19-35. Power-play opportunities-Kamloops 1 of 1. Everett 0 of 5. Goalies-Kamloops, Dubnyk 14-21-2 (35 shots, 35 saves). Everett, Wall 15-12-5 (13 shots, 10 saves), Irving (14 shots, 14 saves).