Silvertips coach Constantine enforces ‘warrior’ mentality

EVERETT — All but four of the 25 players currently on the Everett Silvertips roster hail from Canada, so head coach Kevin Constantine, a Minnesota native, likes to impart a little American history to his foreign-born charges.

To do so, Constantine draws on Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones to inspire the ‘warrior’ mentality he and the coaching staff desire for the physicality of hockey.

It was Jones who famously penned, “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm’s way.”

“Harm’s way” in the Tips vernacular means going to the rink’s “hard areas” — namely the middle of the rink and the front of the net — because that’s where the goals are scored.

“The core of the game still is a battle — it’s a physical battle,” Constantine said. “It’s mini one-on-one competitions all over the rink. That’s the foundation, so being a warrior is first and foremost. To create anything offensively you have to go to the hard areas. … To do that you’re also going to face defensive pressure and checking.”

Hockey shares many physical characteristics with football, the sport most frequently associated with war imagery in the United States.

That fact isn’t lost on Constantine.

“It’s no different than being a receiver in football,” Constantine said. “You’re going up for the ball and you’re going to get hit before you come down with it. And if you can’t conquer that and you’re not willing to put yourself in harm’s way as a receiver you’re going to drop a lot of balls. It’s the same in hockey.”

Wednesday in Kelowna it was captain Dawson Leedahl who went into harm’s way by crashing the net and putting a rebound of a missed shot past Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle for a 2-1 victory over the defending WHL champions.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the Silvertips and a nine-game home winning streak for the Rockets.

“We played really hard (Wednesday) night — it was one of the harder games we’ve played,” Leedahl said. “We were ferocious in getting all the pucks and in hitting guys.”

Wednesday the Silvertips assaulted the Kelowna defenders with a barrage of 35 shots, 20 of which came in a scoreless third period that necessitated the ensuing overtime.

Unlike the previous two contests, both losses to Vancouver, the Tips improved as the game progressed following a five-shot opening period.

“(The coaches) pointed out that our last two second periods had been really poor, so we wanted to prove that we could play in the second period,” Leedahl said. “And we tired them out because they didn’t have many bodies.”

The Rockets dressed just 17 skaters as they are without three players who are competing at the World Junior Championships and two who were suspended.

“You put those five players back on the ice and they score more goals so we have to keep that in perspective,” Constantine said. “(That is) taking nothing away from the fact I liked how we worked (Wednesday) night, so that was good. But they’re missing some key guys.”

Riley Stadel will return from suspension for the Rockets when the teams square off again Friday at a special start time of 2 p.m. at Xfinity Arena.

The Silvertips (20-12-0-2, 42 points) remain a point back of Seattle in the U.S. Division standings and have a game in hand of the Thunderbirds. Everett concludes a difficult four-game week at Kamloops on Saturday.

For latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter @jessegeleynse.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver David Moore (83) celebrates with DK Metcalf, left, and Tyler Lockett (16), after Moore scored a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
For Seahawks fans, there’s a major reason to be thankful

Seattle is tied atop the NFC West, but its favorable schedule ahead is the big reason to be excited.

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell celebrates after striking out the side during the fourth inning in Game 6 of the baseball World Series Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Could the Mariners be interested in trading for Blake Snell?

Reports suggest the Rays would be willing to listen to offers for the Shorewood High School alum.

AquaSox’s Travis Kuhn and Emerald’s Ryan Jensen an hour after the game between the two teams on Sunday continue standing in salute to the National Anthem at Funko Field on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Reports suggest AquaSox may become full-season High-A team

The club would field players further along in their development who are more likely to one day play for the Mariners.

FILE - In this June 29, 1986 file photo, Diego Maradona holds up his team's trophy after Argentina's 3-2 victory over West Germany at the World Cup final soccer match at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The Argentine soccer great who was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity, died from a heart attack on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, at his home in Buenos Aires. He was 60. (AP Photo/Carlo Fumagalli, File)
Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at age 60

The international legend scored the ‘Hand of God’ goal and led his country to a World Cup title in 1986.

Sporting opposing team gear, Lauren Rice and Avery Kirkman, right, enjoy chatting together as Dutch Hill Elementary in Snohomish held an Apple Cup-themed Dads and Donuts event in advance of the 2018 matchup between Washington and Washington State. This year’s Apple Cup, scheduled for Friday, was canceled because of a coronavirus outbreak among WSU players, but it’s possible the annual rivalry contest could be rescheduled. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
POLL: Will the Apple Cup happen this year?

Friday’s football game between UW and WSU was called off, but there’s still hope of rescheduling.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree (48) pushes past Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson (74), left, to sack quarterback Jake Luton (6) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
How local NFL products fared in Week 11

Marysville Pilchuck alum Jake Luton struggles against the league’s last undefeated team.

Seattle Sounders' Nicolas Lodeiro (10) is congratulated on his goal by Jordan Morris (13), who had an assist, during the first half of an MLS playoff soccer match against Los Angeles FC on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Defending champs moving on as Sounders oust LAFC

Seattle opens the playoff with a 3-1 win and advances to face FC Dallas in the Western semifinals.

Marysville-Getchell's Malakhi Knight leads a fast break against Wilson Wednesday morning at the Tacoma Dome on March 4, 2020. Marysville-Gethchell lost to Wilson 73-52. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

Washington's Josiah Bronson motions after the team recovered an Arizona fumble during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
UW to face Utah on Saturday after Apple Cup cancellation

The Huskies were able to find a Pac-12 opponent able to play in Seattle this weekend.

Most Read