The Silvertips survived a late surge by the Spokane Chiefs for a 4-2 win over the U.S. Division foe. Everett has won seven straight since Spokane topped the Silvertips, 3-2, in overtime on Nov. 18 at Angel of the Winds Arena. The Silvertips have also claimed points in eight of their last nine.
Here are the three takeaways:
Everett appeared to be heading into the second intermission on cloud nine by burying a pair of second period goals and bringing a three-goal lead into the locker room. The caveat is a scuffle after the horn resulted in three roughing minors for Everett, two on Spokane’s Eli Zummack and a man advantage for the Chiefs to begin the final period.
It helped Spokane pot its first goal. A roughing minor on Gianni Fairbrother gifted Spokane another power play and a corresponding goal. All of the sudden, it’s a 3-2 lead instead of a 3-0 lead and the Silvertips are bearing down instead of cruising to a blowout win.
The Chiefs are a talented team, more so than they’ve displayed at times against Everett this season, and will capitalize on openings if they’re given. Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said that’s something Everett needs to clean up.
“We played pretty well for two periods and we kind of shot ourselves in the foot there a little bit taking that penalty late in the second and gained the momentum off a broken-down goal,” Williams said. “Then it’s 3-1 and take another silly penalty to make it 3-2. We’ve got to be more disciplined and know when to get involved and when we can’t. They’re a good hockey team, but we found a way.”
Williams added that losing Martin Fasko-Rudas, who went to locker room after a big neutral zone hit in the first period and did not return, to bring Everett down to just 10 forwards possibly contributed to the silly penalties due to fatigue.
It’s uncharacteristic behavior for the Silvertips, who have kept their composure in games that have gotten much more chippier than Wednesday’s. It’s more of teaching moment than a major concern, most likely, but it’s something to keep an eye on, especially as these two teams face off again in just four days on Sunday in Everett.
Patterson’s first game
Max Patterson recorded a primary assist in his first game . So far, so good for the recently-acquired forward.
“I thought he played really well,” Williams said. “He played a lot of minutes. Played really good net front for us and did a lot of nice things and some nice things in the faceoff circle.
Patterson’s biggest asset to the Silvertips is his ability to play center for a team that’s lacked centers all season long. He centered a line to start the game with Sean Richards and Fasko-Rudas. He struggled in the faceoff circle, though, winning just 1 of 8 draws.
Regardless, he’s a big physical presence up front is capable of generating offense up the middle. Patterson said the biggest adjustment in terms of playing with Everett is the speed of the game.
“They play at a very quick pace, especially in transition,” Patterson said. “I definitely have to get used to that.”
Dewar moves back to the wing
Patterson’s aforementioned presence allows Connor Dewar, who was playing out of position at center for most of the season, to move back to his natural position at left wing next to Riley Sutter. The early returns on the two players’ reunion — Dewar and Sutter were major contributors during Everett’s playoff run last year on a line with Garrett Pilon, were nothing special but not discouraging, either.
It will take some time for the chemistry to return.
“(It was) OK,” Williams said. “They haven’t played together a lot and it’s going to take a little bit there. I think sometimes when you do put those guys back together, they have to do everything out there instead of just realizing when they just play simple and their style of hockey they’re really effective. But I’m not worried about those guys there. They’re going to figure it out no problem.”
Dewar and Sutter’s linemate, Bryce Kindopp, scored a goal, but it was off assists from Artyom Minulin and Dustin Wolf. Dewar picked up an assist, but it was on the power play.