Scherbak’s hat trick leads Silvertips to 6-3 win over Red Deer

EVERETT — After the game was over, Nikita Scherbak took one last lap around the ice at Xfinity Arena, with the spotlight shining on him, to acknowledge all the Everett Silvertips fans in attendance.

Moments earlier those same fans acknowledged Scherbak by raining hats onto the ice.

Scherbak scored a hat trick, potting Everett’s final three goals as the Tips held off the Red Deer Rebels 6-3 Wednesday night.

It was the first career WHL hat trick for Scherbak, who now has 10 goals and 10 assists in 12 games since arriving in Everett following his trade from Saskatoon.

“It feels awesome,” Scherbak said. “This is my first hat trick ever in my career, it’s never happened before, so it feels amazing.

“I was trying to help my team win the game,” Scherbak added. “The boys in the locker room, we said if we win the third period we win the game. Everybody was ready to go, and I scored kind of lucky goals.”

Scherbak’s goals helped rescue an Everett team that didn’t play its best game. The Tips dominated the first period and took a 3-0 lead, but they let up in the second and allowed Red Deer back in it. Scherbak scored a crucial power-play goal in the second to stop the bleeding, then put the game away with a pair of goals in the third, including the empty netter that sent the hats flying.

“Tonight we were a tale of two cities in the first two periods, because we were really solid to start and really bad in the second to completely let them back in the game,” Everett coach Kevin Constantine said. “We kind of got saved by two players: Ben Betker’s defense in our end and Scherbak’s individual talents. Those two things allowed us to survive the whole thing. It certainly wasn’t as steady as (Saturday’s comprehensive 3-0 victory over Edmonton), but nonetheless it was a good win.”

Carson Stadnyk, Graham Millar and Brayden Low also scored for Everett (11-1-2-1), which won its fifth straight. Austin Lotz earned the win in goal, making 17 saves.

Conner Bleackley scored twice to lead Red Deer (8-8-1-1), which had taken 11 of a possible 12 points from its previous six games. Former Silvertip Tyler Sandhu, on his return to Xfinity Arena, also scored for the Rebels, while Taz Burman finished with 17 saves.

Everett had been playing rock-solid hockey of late, and the Tips pumped out more of the same in the first period. Everett outshot Red Deer 10-3, jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and it looked like the Tips would coast home from there.

But Red Deer came out reinvigorated to start the second period, and the Rebels made the Tips pay for some sloppy play. Red Deer scored twice in the first four minutes of the period to get back into the game, and the Tips found themselves back on their heels.

“(The first period) was our fourth good period in a row, and the mind is a tricky thing,” Constantine said. “Red Deer responded well to not playing well in the first, and probably when you have a solid game like against Edmonton and a very solid first period, you just start to falsely assume this is an easy game, and the second you think it’s easy the game gets really hard. Thank God we kind of survived that, because that certainly could have tipped the game in their favor.”

It was a moment of brilliance from Scherbak that stemmed the tide. Everett received a short power play, and when Scherbak received the puck in space along the right hash marks, he quickly strode toward goal and whipped a shot into the far corner to restore Everett’s two-goal lead at 8:25.

“That was really big, Constantine said. “It just gave us the cushion we needed because of the momentum that was going on. When we needed important goals in that game — not that they’re not all important — Scherby was the one who put us up by two goals. Those were margins of error that tonight we needed because we weren’t playing the perfect game.”

Red Deer again cut the deficit to one late in the second period on Bleackley’s second goal of the game. However, the Tips tightened back up in the third, and Scherbak iced it. First, at 11:47, Kohl Bauml flipped a shot toward goal in transition, and Burman kicked the rebound out the other direction right in the path of a streaking Scherbak, who put it away to make it 5-3. Then with Burman pulled for an extra attacker, the Tips muscled the puck out of their zone and past the red line, where Scherbak fired it into the empty net with 1:43 remaining to seal it.

Slap shots

Everett center Ivan Nikolishin finished with two assists, and the first one was a highlight-reel play as he slalomed his way through the neutral zone, raced behind the Red Deer net, then slipped a nifty behind-the-back pass out front. Burman never saw the puck, and Stadnyk was able to reach past his defender for the tap-in to score Everett’s opening goal 12:50 into the game. … Sandhu, who was traded by Everett to Red Deer two weeks ago, had a goal-scoring return. At 3:21 of the second period Lotz couldn’t handle Haydn Fleury’s high shot from the left point, with the puck plopping behind him. Sandhu got the final touch to get credit for the goal, his third in seven games with the Rebels. He had one goal in nine games with Everett before the trade.

Silvertips 6, Rebels 3

Red Deer 0 3 0 — 3

Everett 3 1 2 — 6

First Period—1, Everett, Stadnyk 9 (Nikolishin), 12:50. 2, Everett, Millar 6 (Aasman), 17:52. 3, Everett, Low 3 (Stadnyk, Nikolishin), 18:59. Penalties—Ellerby, Kamloops (holding), 4:32;

Second Period—4, Red Deer, Bleackley 4 (Johnson), 2:06. 5, Red Deer, Sandhu 4 (Fleury, Maxwell), 3:21. 6, Everett, Scherbak 8 (MacDonald, Davis), 8:25 (pp). 7, Red Deer, Bleackley 5, 18:19. Penalties—Pfeifer, Everett (kneeing), 5:51; Feser, Red Deer (tripping), 7:12; Cote, Red Deer (checking from behind), 13:11.

Third Period—8, Everett, Scherbak 9 (Bauml), 11:47. 9, Everett, Scherbak 10, 18:17 (en). Penalties—Sandhu, Red Deer (hooking), 7:05; MacDonald, Everett (interference), 7:51.

Shots on goal—Red Deer 3-10-7—20. Everett 10-5-8—23. Power-play opportunities—Red Deer 0 of 2. Everett 1 of 3.

Goalies—Red Deer, Burman 1-3-0-0 (22 shots, 17 saves). Everett, Lotz 9-1-1-1 (20 shots, 17 saves).


Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at, and follow him on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.

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