EVERETT—The Silvertips assembled one of their most well-rounded performance of the season, blanking the Hitmen, 4-0, on home ice. Here’s the game story, which focused on the elevated play of Sean Richards and his linemates, Riley Sutter and Dawson Butt.
And here are the three takeaways, which focuses on the other top performer from the game
Wolf shuts ‘em out
Where does a shutout rank in terms of a Dustin Wolf performance?
As far as the fanfare goes, it’s pretty high and probably at the top. His second of the season and first at home came with 26 saves and in a dominant 4-0 win over Calgary.
For Wolf, it feels nice to not see any pucks in his net all night. But it’s his 39 save performance in a 3-2 shootout win over Portland ranks at the top.
“I’d say (Tuesday) was up there,” Wolf said. “When you’re seeing a little more rubber you can say you’ve played a little better, but at the same time I think it was the way it finish. We were able to clinch it in a shootout.”
Tuesday’s win for Wolf, who ranks second in the WHL with 16, was a nice bounceback, according to Williams.
“Wolfie obviously was able to make a really good save there at the end and it was nice to see his response,” Williams said. “Saturday he struggled in the game and got thrown in there Sunday, and to able to come in and get the shutout and have a day off tomorrow, he’s probably going to feel good about himself and it’ll be good prep for Saturday.”
Wolf, who is third in the WHL with a 1.87 goals against average, will be the first to express that he’s not solely responsible for the shutout. The stout defense in front of him, which has taken a stingy form all season, helped contribute to the goose egg on the visitor’s scoreboard.
But he was there to make an incredible save late in the contest to protect to shutout.
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) November 21, 2018
That’s someone who wants his shutout.
Third period blitz
After a solid first period and a slightly sluggish second, Everett pulled together a terrific third, outshooting the Hitmen 9-5 and cashing in on three goals.
It was an encouraging sign for Williams.
“We had not the best (third period) Saturday at home and we talked a little bit about that,” Williams said. “We had 20 minutes left to win ourselves a hockey game and we’ve put ourselves in that situation a lot this year. Honestly, we got that quick goal, which was a big one to get it going. I thought we played a pretty sound, solid hockey game, but to get that quick goal and build momentum off it and you saw it build from there.”
Martin Fasko-Rudas tallied his fourth goal of the season and broke a seven-game scoreless streak with a nice goal from the slot on Tuesday.
Williams joked that he could have had an even bigger game. He didn’t bury a slick spin pass from Connor Dewar on an odd-man rush in the first period.
“He ended up landing on top of the goalie I think,” Williams quipped. “It’s good. Guys, like I said, they grip the stick and they want to contribute so much offensively and they’re able to get that chance. Like I said to Fasko this week, just play the game hard and play the game smart and the defensive side, and the offensive will take care of itself. I thought he did a really good job of doing that, finishing his checks, and he got rewarded.”
Fasko-Rudas is a tireless worker on the ice and you could tell he was anguishing by not putting some of his chances in the back of the net. He’s not an elite skill guy, but his work level can put him in fortuitous situations. Tuesday demonstrated that. His stick heating up would be an intriguing and encouraging development for Everett.
General comments from Williams:
“We’re a deep team,” Williams said. “And I like our defensive zone coverage for sure off it. But we do a good job of not giving up a lot because we demand our guys to play 200 feet and both sides of the puck. Our forwards did a nice job of tracking and reloading tonight and we were able to stay up. And
General thoughts from Richards: “I thought we played our game really well,” Richards said. “We stuck to the small details. They’re a tough hockey team, but I thought Dustin played really well and we got scoring from every line, so I thought that was really good.”
I’m off to Mexico for a family vacation, which has been planned for months, before I started at The Herald. I know it’s an inopportune time to be away from the beat, but I’ll be on a beach somewhere, hopefully not checking Twitter.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)