Silvertips’ offense comes alive in win over Blazers

Everett ties franchise record with 5 power play goals.

EVERETT — During player exit meetings following last season, Everett Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams challenged forward Dawson Butt.

The game of hockey is changing, and Butt — known more for riling up crowds by roughing up opponents and instigating fights — must change as well, Williams told the forward.

Butt took that to heart, and in 2018-2019, he’s added a new element to his game.

The 19-year-old Butt recorded the first multi-point game of his career by scoring a goal and assisting on another in Everett’s 7-2 rout of Kamloops on Saturday at Angel of the Winds Arena.

“He definitely took (that meeting) to heart his summer, trained hard this summer and came back and has been rewarded for that because he can play the game,” Williams said. “We needed him to be able to defend and be a contributor, not just run around and hit guys and try and start havoc. We want hockey players here, and that’s what he’s been showing us.”

The 6-foot winger played in 45 games for the Silvertips last season in a bottom-six role. Butt, who also scored Friday in Everett’s 5-3 win over Edmonton, has potted two goals this season, doubling his total from 2017-2018 and matching his point total from last season with three.

“Obviously last year I didn’t get as much playing time as I was hoping to,” Butt said, “but I’ve gotten more this year and my confidence has gone up. I’ve gotten more ice time and I feel a little bit more calm out there and pucks are going my way. Hopefully that keeps going.”

Butt netted the Silvertips first goal of the game with 1:18 remaining in the first, corralling a loose puck and sniping it past Kamloops goaltender Dylan Ferguson.

It was a treat for Butt’s teammates to see him score on back-to-back nights.

“I think he’s one of the hardest working guys on our team, so he definitely deserves it,” Everett’s Riley Sutter said. “He puts in the work every day, and it’s been carrying over to the games the last couple days. … It’s just really nice to see him put a couple in the net.

“He’s a great teammate, always positive. You can’t say anything bad about the guy.”

Everett pulled away with a four-goal second period, a flurry that began when Sutter deflected a shot from Jake Christiansen past Ferguson to provide the Silvertips a 3-1 lead at the 14:10 mark.

After a five-minute check-t0-the-head major penalty from Ryley Appelt gifted the Silvertips an extended power play, Everett pounced with three goals, with Connor Dewar, Ian Walker and Sahvan Khaira scoring with the man advantage in the five-minute span.

The Blazers were whistled for 13 penalties, including game misconducts from Appelt and Montana Onyebuchi, a former Silvertips player.

“It was getting pretty chippy, but I just told the boys to keep our heads up and continue to play our game,” Butt said. “They were obviously looking for something, but we just continued to play our game.”

Wyatte Wylie potted another power play goal in the third for the Silvertips, who scored five goals with the man advantage, tying a franchise record set in 2016-2017.

“We had lots of opportunities tonight, so it was nice to be able to get a few,” Sutter said. “Our power play was clicking pretty good, so hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Kamloops’ Joonas Sillanpaa scored a game-tying goal in the first, and Martin Lang added an unassisted tally in the third for the Blazers.

Everett goaltender Dustin Wolf made 18 saves.

The Silvertips travel to play Portland at 5 p.m. Sunday before embarking on a six-game Eastern Conference road trip. The team doesn’t return to Everett until a Nov. 2 tilt with Tri-City.

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