Silvertips bounce back with strong week

Everett grabs 5 of 6 possible points and moves up in the U.S. Division standings.

Austin Roest

Austin Roest

The Everett Silvertips bounced back from a difficult weekend in a big way, taking five of a possible six points from last week’s three games against U.S. Division rivals.

Everett was right back at it after going 1-2 during its first three-in-three weekend of the season, starting with a home game last Wednesday against the Tri-City Americans. The Tips then hosted the Wenatchee Wild on Friday before beginning a lengthy five-game road trip with a game against the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday.

Wednesday’s game was a rematch from Everett’s 5-4 loss at Tri-City in the final game of its three-in-three. But this time the Tips, sparked by Austin Roest’s hat trick that was completed just over halfway through the game, cruised to a comfortable 6-2 victory. It was a dominant second period for the Tips, who outscored the Americans 4-0 to take a 5-1 lead into the third.

Then on Friday against Wenatchee, Everett saved a point when Teague Patton scored with just 15 seconds remaining in regulation to tie it at 3-3 and force overtime. Wenatchee’s Kenta Isogai won it 36 seconds into OT. Everett can feel both fortunate and unfortunate about the result. On one hand, the Tips found fortune in scoring the tying goal with the goaltender pulled. On the other hand, Everett was unfortunate to lose despite outshooting the Wild 49-26, with two of Wenatchee’s goals — including the game winner — having fluky elements.

The Tips finished off the week with another dominating effort in Spokane, winning 6-2. Again it was the second period that won it for Everett, as the Tips outscored Spokane 3-0 to take a 5-2 lead.

The five points moved Everett up in the U.S. Division standings. The Tips improved to 7-5-1-0 to slip into third place. With Portland, which was No. 1 in the Canadian Hockey League rankings, getting swept in its road three-in-three against the Central Division, Wenatchee moved into first place in the division, with the Tips just two points back.

Three stars of the week

Third star: Tarin Smith. The 17-year-old defenseman and former first-round prospects draft pick is working his way back after missing almost all of last season because of injury. He took a big step last week, notching two goals — both on pretty stickhandling moves in close — and two assists, and his four points were double the two he had in his previous 2o WHL games.

Second star: Ben Hemmerling. The 19-year-old forward, who was named Everett’s co-captain for 2023-24 last week, was Everett’s leading scorer over the three games with seven points (two goals, five assists). He set up the tying goal that salvaged a point against Wenatchee, and he was named the first star in both the Wenatchee and Spokane games.

First star: Roest. The 19-year-old forward, who was named Everett’s other co-captain last week, had yet to get up to full speed this season. But he broke out in a big way against Tri-City, scoring three goals for his second career WHL hat trick. Roest finished the week with four goals and an assist, and he was also strong in the faceoff circle where he was 42-for-71 (59%).

Honorable mention: Julius Miettinen. The 17-year-old forward from Finland, who was recently listed as a “C” player in NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary watch list for the 2024 NHL draft, was named the WHL Rookie of the Week after posting a goal and four assists in the three games.

The week ahead

This week the Tips hit the long road to the Central Division for four games in five nights against the Central’s southern four.

It begins Wednesday at Lethbridge (8-5-2-0), which is in second place in the Central. The Hurricanes have one of the league’s leading goaltenders in 19-year-old Harrison Meneghin (8-3-2-0, 2.02 goals against average, .935 save percentage) and a top defenseman in 18-year-old Noah Chadwick (three goals, nine assists), who’s the younger brother of Silvertips goaltender Ethan Chadwick.

Friday the Tips face Calgary (6-7-2-0), which has won four straight. The Hitmen feature one of the league’s top overagers in forward Sean Tschigerl (three goals, 13 assists).

Saturday Everett heads to Medicine Hat to take on the Central-leading Tigers (9-4-1-0). Medicine Hat has two of the league’s best young offensive players in 17-year-old Cayden Lindstrom (13 goals, seven assists) and 16-year-old Gavin McKenna (seven goals, 13 assists).

The trip concludes Sunday at Swift Current (7-7-1-0). Nineteen-year-old forward Mathew Ward (eight goals, 16 assists) is off to a scorching start, while 19-year-old defenseman Owen Pickering (one goal, five assists in nine games) is a first-round NHL draft pick.

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