Even when Ethan Regnier wasn’t producing points, he was earning praise from his Everett Silvertips coaches and teammates.
“He’s got a lot of similarities (to former Silvertip Connor Dewar) to me,” Everett head coach Dennis Williams said. “He’s just got an engine. He doesn’t stop. He’s first on forecheck, he’s first on (tracking pucks). He plays the game hard, he plays the game right. He’s in the trenches and blocks pucks. There’s just a lot of good that comes with Ethan.”
The goals and assists are bonuses.
But Regnier is adding those bonuses at a more consistent rate after a slow start in point production to his Everett career.
Regnier recorded his first career multi-goal game on Saturday in Everett’s 4-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. He scored his fourth and fifth goals since being acquired from Swift Current.
“He’s stayed positive, he’s stuck to the game plan and he’s getting those opportunities and now the pucks are falling in for him,” Williams said. “It was just a matter of time and it’s never something we stressed about when we got him. His other details of the game were so strong, so it’s nice that the offense is coming for him.”
Regnier, acquired in a deal with Swift Current at the trade deadline in January, didn’t record a point in his first nine games wearing a Silvertips sweater, but has five goals and eight points over the past 12.
The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, native has played mostly on Everett’s third line with Dawson Butt and Justyn Gurney, but Williams hasn’t been shy about moving Regnier up to play with Silvertips’ top wingers, Bryce Kindopp and Cole Fonstad.
That versatility has been one of Regnier’s major assets.
From an outside perspective, Regnier’s initial role in Everett was uncertain because he hadn’t been a major contributor on a contending team during his Western Hockey League career.
The 2000-born forward played in just three games on Swift Current’s 2017-2018 WHL championship team. He was an integral part of the rebuilding Broncos’ lineup last season, but Swift Current finished last in the WHL’s East Division with just 11 wins.
While playing for a contender has been an adjustment for Regnier, it’s also been a nice change of scenery.
“Obviously you’re just enjoying every day and the run we’re on and how good we’re playing right now,” Regnier said Saturday after the Tips recorded their ninth straight win. “It’s super exciting.”
Record-breaking night at Tri-City
In the Silvertips’ 8-1 win over the Tri-City Americans on Wednesday, overage defenseman Jake Christiansen needed just one goal to break Landon Oslanski’s franchise record of 17 goals by a defenseman in a season.
He shattered it with a hat trick, the second of his career and the second by a defenseman in franchise history.
“When I got that first one, I felt really good,” Christiansen said. “After that, it felt like everything was going in. But it’s awesome. There’s been some great defenseman in this organization obviously, so (the record) feels good.”
After a pair of goals in the two games against Kelowna, Bryce Kindopp sits at 38 goals for the season and 108 goals for his career, four away from Patrick Bajkov’s franchise record for career goals. Kindopp has eight games remaining to tie or break Bajkov’s record.
Easy day at the office for Wolf
Dustin Wolf faced just 13 shots Saturday against Kelowna, providing some rest for Everett’s star goaltender in the middle of three consecutive nights in goal.
“I think it’s real good,” Williams said. “That’s something we’ve been striving (for) with our group the last 10 games. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of minimizing opportunities. … Whoever we play, we’re focused on not cheating. I think sometimes we get guys that try and cheat up ice and sniff the offense and (they) give up big-time opportunities.”
Williams noted Everett wasn’t perfect Saturday. Pavel Novak had a breakaway that Wolf turned away late in the second period, and the Rockets’ lone goal was created by Mark Liwiski catching an Everett defender flat-footed on the blueline.
The Silvertips added affiliate player Hunor Torzsok to their roster and there’s a strong chance he’ll stick with the team for the rest of the way now that his season with the British Columbia Hockey League’s Merritt Centennials is over, Silvertips’ general manager Garry Davidson said.
The 2000-born forward had 16 goals and 19 points this season for Merritt after playing parts of three season with the Vancouver Giants’ organization. Torzcok also played in one game for Everett as an affiliate player when the Silvertips needed depth on Feb. 14.