Three takeaways: Dustin Wolf thrives in ‘his type of game’

Wednesday’s 39-save affair harkened the Silvertips goalie to his youth hockey days

The Everett Silvertips won its first shootout and claimed two key U.S. Division points in a 3-2 win over Portland on Wednesday.

Here are the takeaways:

Wolf sees rubber

Dusitn Wolf is sick and tired of his defense being so sound in front of him.

All joking aside, the 17-year-old goaltender expressed that it was refreshing to see action between the pipes against Portland.

“It’s back to my youth hockey days when I saw a lot of rubber,” said Wolf, who saved 39 of 41 shots on Wednesday. “I like these types of games and I’m happy I’m able to get the win for the boys.”

Why does Wolf like getting peppered with shots? It’s a focus thing, he says.

“It just keeps you in it,” Wolf said. “When you’re not seeing many shots it’s such a tough mental game when it comes to that. Just being able to see rubber, it just keeps you in the game. I don’t know. I’ve been used to it my whole life. I enjoy it.”

Wolf saw only an average of 23.75 shots in five starts entering Wednesday’s contest. Everett head coach Williams has said the strength of his team is that it doesn’t give up many chances, and Wolf is back there to make saves when they need him too. They needed him plenty against Portland and he came through.

“It’s just a testament that our D-corp is so solid and tonight I think it’s the first time this season I’ve had to bail them out,” Wolf said. “And that’s my game.”

Line dance

Some of Everett’s rookies were given shifts with its top-six forward group on Wednesday, as Jalen Price played a couple of minutes alongside Connor Dewar and Bryce Kindopp, while Jackson Berezowski played frequently with Riley Sutter and Martin Fasko-Rudas.

Part of it’s out of necissity, according to Williams

“We just didn’t have good depth for us,” Williams said. “It looked like they got a little tired and we tried to put some fresher guys out there, because (Dewar), he’s a tough guy to play with. He’s got an engine, him and (Kindopp). A lot of guys don’t play those type of minutes … so we just thought it would be better to put a little bit of a different look.”

But some of its rewarding solid play. Price and Berezowski are fresh off a multi-goal weekend and their strong performances spilled in to Wednesday’s contest.

“It’s kind of just a feeling out process of who can give us the best balance so we can get lines rolling,” Williams said. “I thought at times that line with Goncalves, Mitchell and Price did a good job and as you saw in the second, when you have to use those guys in high-stress minutes on the penalty kill and what not, when you use those guys a lot you have to mix guys into different situations. We always tell our guys you have to be ready to play when you’re called upon, whether it’s left (wing), right (wing) or center.

“It was a pretty gutsy effort and a lot of our guys stepped up and did a lot of good things.”

‘A shootout, not a dekeout’

Everett won its first and only shootout of the season on Wednesday, with Dustin Wolf stopping chances from Reece Newkirk and Cody Glass and Connor Dewar and Riley Sutter burying wrist shots past Portland goaltender Shane Farkas in a three-round.

It was the simple things that help Everett prevail and claim the extra point.

“I always tell our guys it’s a shootout, not a deke out, because the ice is a little more hesitant and not that great,” Williams said. “But those two guys, (Dewar and Sutter), they did pretty good there.”

Next up

The Silvertips take on the Winterhawks on Friday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

Quotables

Williams’ general comments: “They’re a very good hockey club and it’s a very good opportunity to evaluate where we’re at and areas of improvement. We had some chances and had a great (penalty) kill in the second, but we weren’t able to create that seperation, but kudos to our guys,” Williams said. “It’s not easy giving up two goals seconds apart, but we hung on there and got that much needed extra point. We’ll learn from it and we’ll get ready for the Friday rematch.”

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