EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips’ struggles in the faceoff circle appear to be behind them.
Over their past nine games, dating back to Jan. 11, the Silvertips have won 54.4% of their faceoffs.
Overall, the Silvertips haven’t struggled mightily at the faceoff dot, with Everett possessing a 50.4% success rate for the season. But after Everett dealt Max Patterson to Seattle on Dec. 6, the Silvertips won faceoffs at just a 45.8% clip over the next 13 games.
Coincidentally, the player who won 21 of 27 faceoffs against Everett in the Silvertips’ first game without Patterson, Ethan Regnier, is the one who has stabilized Everett’s lineup and helped the Silvertips immensely in the circle. Regnier was acquired from Swift Current at the trade deadline.
His faceoff percentage is a tick under 50%, but more than anything, he provides Everett a right-handed option for draws, as the Silvertips’ two other centers, Gage Goncalves and Michal Gut, are left-handed.
Regnier is the Silvertips’ primary option for key faceoffs in the right circle, while Goncalves is the go-to guy on the left side.
“It’s nice to have those two guys and have confidence in them they can do their job,” Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said. “We depend on both of those guys to win draws.”
Kindopp’s drought ends
Silvertips captain Bryce Kindopp squelched a nine-game scoreless stretch Friday by scoring two goals against the Portland Winterhawks.
Kindopp beats Hofer five-hole for his second of the night and 32nd of the year.
This week, I jokingly asked Kindopp if he was ever going to score a goal again. He said, "As long as someone is scoring, it doesn't matter."
Well, I guess tonight it was his turn. #WHL https://t.co/YGIAPM6Bm7— Josh Horton (@JoshHortonEDH) February 1, 2020
“It’s awesome,” Williams said after Friday’s game. “There was probably a 25-pound monkey on his back. It’s one of those where we don’t talk about it, but guys think about it. But if you look at where his goals are coming, they’re right near the net. I’m glad to see him get rewarded for his hard play over the last couple of weeks.”
Going into Tuesday’s game, Kindopp ranked third in the Western Hockey League with 32 goals, trailing Spokane’s Adam Beckman (36) and Kamloops’ Orrin Centazzo (34).
With 102 career goals, Kindopp ranks third all-time in Silvertips’ history, behind Tyler Maxwell (107) and Patrick Bajkov (112).
If Kindopp continues his 0.68 goals-per-game pace for the remaining 21 games of the regular season, he would pass Bajkov for the franchise record.
The Silvertips play three games in three days this weekend, all against divisional opponents: at Tri-City on Friday, at Seattle on Saturday, and at Spokane on Sunday.
Over the next six weeks, the Silvertips play five “three-in-threes.”
#WHL Easiest schedule remaining (by combined opponent points percentage)
Saskatoon – .464
Kamloops – .498
Medicine Hat – .508
Prince Albert – .514
Winnipeg – .517
Everett – .520
Vancouver – .522
Calgary – .522
Portland – .534
Edmonton – .538
Swift Current – .539— Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) February 4, 2020
Tyson Phare is out indefinitely with concussion issues, Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson said. Phare, 17, hasn’t played since Nov. 2 against Kamloops, when he took a puck to the face. Phare, who played in 10 games this season, has returned home to Maple Ridge, British Columbia, to recover.
Kasper Puutio, who missed Friday’s matchup with Portland, remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The 2002-born import defenseman donned a red non-contact jersey at Monday’s practice.
Zack Andrusiak, who played for the Silvertips for the second half of the 2018-2019 season after being acquired from the Seattle Thunderbirds, has played 42 games for the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads. He has nine goals and 21 points in 42 games.
Forward Ben Hemmerling, a third-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft, has played the majority of his season with the Northern Alberta Xtreme Elite 15s in the Canadian School Sport Hockey League (CSSHL). He’s scored 16 goals and has 50 points in 29 games. Additionally, Hemmerling, a native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, has one goal and four points in five games with the Northern Alberta Xtreme Prep squad, which plays in a league primarily for 16-year-olds.
Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter, @JoshHortonEDH