EVERETT – Six days later, same game, different result.
The Everett Silvertips and Portland Winter Hawks played virtually an identical game to their previous meeting, but this time it was Everett that prevailed, winning 3-2 in a shootout.
Zach Hamill scored the only goal in the shootout as Everett won by the identical score of the Winter Hawks’ shootout victory last Sunday in Portland.
“This was the same game with the complete opposite result,” Everett coach Kevin Constantine said. “In their building both teams played well, 2-2 tie, and they scored in the shootout. Tonight a close game, 2-2 tie, both teams played pretty good and we won the shootout. The only difference in those two games really was the fact that we won the shootout.”
Shaun Heshka scored the tying goal midway through the third period and John Lammers also scored for Everett (34-20-2-2), which won its third straight and stretched its lead atop the U.S. Division to 13 points. Leland Irving made 23 saves in goal.
Libor Gadzik and Jon Bubnick scored and Kurtis Mucha made 26 stops in goal for Portland (22-29-3-4).
The parallels between Saturday’s game and last Sunday’s game were eerie, right down to the first shooter in the shootout hitting the post. Only this time it was Portland’s Brandon Dubinsky who was denied by the post rather than Everett’s Peter Mueller, setting the tone for the shootout. Hamill followed with a nice move to his backhand to beat Mucha, then Irving made glove stops on both Jannik Hansen and Bubnick to end the game.
With Everett so strong in shootouts – Saturday’s win upped the Tips’ shootout record to 7-2 – and facing Portland’s No. 3 goalie in Mucha, Saturday’s result was more what the Tips were expecting from a shootout.
“Yeah,” Irving agreed. “Mueller hit the post last week and Dubinsky hit a post tonight, so it’s kind of whoever gets the bounces. The ice was bad, so I was expecting a shot and I thought that worked to the goalies’ advantage tonight.”
The game may never have reached a shootout if it wasn’t for yeoman’s work on the penalty kill by the Tips. Everett trailed 1-0 going into the final seven minutes of the second period and spent almost all those seven minutes short-handed. Yet Everett’s efforts resulted into a 1-1 tie going into the third.
First, Everett got onto the board with a short-handed goal at 14 minutes, 57 seconds. Hamill split the Portland defense with a pass, sending Lammers away on a breakaway. Lammers put a backhander through Mucha’s legs, making it 1-1.
Everett managed to kill off 1:37 of five-on-three to end the period, the trio of Heshka, Mueller and Mark Kress doing the work the entire time and Irving making some key saves.
“Those are really exhausting, especially for a minute-and-a-half,” Heshka said. “You also have to give credit to Irv, he made a couple of key saves, and Mueller and Kress did a hell of a job with their sticks. We didn’t get the puck out (of the defensive zone) entirely, but we were sure working hard to at least block some shots and make it difficult on them. I think that was a key point.”
Portland did manage to take the lead on the power play early in the third period, Bubnick putting in a rebound at 4:40. However, Heshka answered four minutes later, scoring on a shot from the point on an Everett power play.
“It was a close game,” Portland coach Mike Williamson said. “I would have liked to see us sharper on the goals they put into our net, but we also got a couple big saves in the first period. For the most part we played pretty solid and it was a good, disciplined effort.”
Slap shots: Everett left wing Ondrej Fiala returned to the lineup Saturday. He missed Friday’s 6-3 victory over Spokane because of the flu. Also, right wing Brady Calla, who was a game-time decision because of a knee injury sustained Friday, was able to play. Right wing Torrie Wheat (foot) and left wing Karel Hromas (collarbone) continued their absences. … Everett had to contend with Portland center Brandon Dubinsky for the first time in four meetings. Dubinsky, who had been out with a knee injury since Jan. 7, returned Friday and played Saturday.
Silvertips 3, Winter Hawks 2 (SO)
Everett won shootout 1-0
First Period-No goals. Penalties-Everett bench (unsportsmanlike conduct, served by Alic), 5:41.
Second Period-1, Portland, Gadzik 3 (Friesen, Balan), 5:27. 2, Everett, Lammers 32 (Hamill), 14:57 (sh). Penalties-Woolger, Portland (tripping), 0:55; Gordichuk, Portland (holding), 8:05; Mueller, Everett (high sticking-high sticking), 13:17; Ellington, Everett (high sticking), 18:09, Thoring, Everett (slashing), 18:23.
Third Period-3, Portland, Bubnick 25 (Bailey), 4:40 (pp). 4, Everett, Heshka 10 (Mueller, Hamill), 8:46 (pp). Penalties-Hamill, Everett (cross-checking), 3:45; Gordichuk, Portland (holding), 7:24.
Overtime-No goals. Penalties-None.
Shootout-Everett 1 (Hamill G, Mueller NG); Portland 0 (Dubinsky NG, Hansen NG, Bubnick NG).
Shots on goal-Portland 7-9-8-1-25. Everett 8-11-9-0-28. Power-play opportunities-Portland 1 of 6. Everett 1 of 3.
Goalies-Portland, Mucha 4-8-1-2 (28 shots, 26 saves). Everett, Irving 31-18-1-2 (25 shots, 23 saves).