Teachable moment for Silvertips in home loss

Kelowna’s physicality was a key in the Blazers’ 2-0 shutout of Everett at Angel of the Winds Arena.

EVERETT —Some losses earn a tongue-lashing. Others offer a teaching moment.

“I think it’s a good lesson for our group,” Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said after his team’s 2-0 loss to Kelowna on Friday. “It’s disappointing, but I’d rather to learn some of the hard things now than at a later time.”

James Porter recorded a 40-save shutout for Kelowna, which stunned the Silvertips (33-10-1-1) on their home ice to snap a six-game losing streak.

“I think we saw very clearly who’s the dominant team,” Williams said. “They came physical, they came hard, they came heavy. Right from the start.

“I’m sure the last few weeks when you lose six in a row, there’s not a lot of good moods. They came out with a mission and a game plan. The game plan was the physicality and I thought they executed that well and we didn’t really have a push-back on that.”

Michael Farren and former Silvertip Mark Liwiski tallied goals for the Rockets (18-22-3-1), who snapped a six-game losing streak.

After a scoreless first period, Farren notched the game’s first goal with 16:53 remaining in the second period. Everett netminder Dustin Wolf saved the initial shot, but the rebound fell right to Farren’s tape and he buried the chance for his second goal of the season. Lassi Thomson and Liam Kindree were credited with the assists.

Liwiski snapped a shot from the slot over Wolf’s glove at the 10:56 mark to provide the Rockets an insurance goal. Alex Sweltikoff whipped a pass back to the 2001-born forward for his third goal of the year.

Williams said the two-goal deficit was largely self-inflicted with turnovers and poor line changes.

“We need to do a better job of managing pucks and our line changes were poor,” Williams said. “We can learn from them what it takes to win at this level. … They were blocking shots, finishing and they brought a physical presence. And we needed a better response from it.”

Everett couldn’t cash in on each of its three power-play chances. Conversely, the Silvertips’ penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3.

Wolf turned away 18-of-20 shots for Everett.

After a 40-save performance in a 4-2 loss to Everett on Jan. 9, Porter has denied 80 total shots in his last two games against the Silvertips.

“They made it difficult,” Williams said. “They came at us but weren’t overly stretching to where you can find seams. … They did a really good job of committing to their game plan. Especially in the second and third. … They committed to getting in front and eating pucks and when they didn’t, the goaltender did a good job.

“Credit to them, they played a really good hockey game.”

Next up

Everett travels to Portland on Saturday for a 5:00 p.m. puck drop against the Winterhawks for the second game of Everett’s final three-in-three of the season.

Josh Horton covers the Everett Silvertips and AquaSox for The Everett Daily Herald. Follow him on Twitter (@joshhortonEDH) or reach out to him over email (jhorton@heraldnet.com).

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