In the second game of the Silvertips’ Eastern Conference road trip, Everett rebounded from a 5-2 loss to Brandon and defeated Regina, 5-1, at the Brandt Centre in Regina. The Silvertips improved to 7-4-0 (14 points) while the Pats fell to 3-9-0 (six points) — they are also 0-7-0 on their home ice.
Here are three takeaways from the convincing win:
Welcome back, Sean Richards: Overage forward Sean Richards returned from a five-game suspension and scored his first goal of the season in the opening period. Richards was playing in familiar territory, having been traded to Everett from Regina in a deal for Dawson Leedahl (‘96) and the playing rights to Tyson Jost — he never played in the WHL and went to the University of North Dakota before starting a career with the Colorado Avalanche.
The St. Albert, Alberta native played on the Silvertips’ top line with Riley Sutter and Bryce Kindopp, posting a +3 rating.
Big shoes to fill: It’s not completely related to the win over Regina, but the WHL unveiled the length of Connor Dewar’s suspension midway through the game against Regina. The Silvertips captain was given four games for a cross-checking major penalty and a game misconduct against Brandon. Dewar, who leads the team with 15 points (eight goals, seven assists), is a devastating loss for the Silvertips as they traverse through Saskatchewan. And it’s not just devastating because he’s a prolific scorer. He’s an “identity player,” a team captain and a versatile presence with the ability to play different positions at a high level and in a myriad situations on the ice.
Dewar will miss Tuesday’s matchup at Prince Albert, Wednesday’s at Saskatoon and Friday’s at Moose Jaw before being eligible to return Saturday at Swift Current. Losing him for the back-to-back games with the Raiders and the Blades is particularly brutal, as Prince Albert leads the Eastern Conference with 24 points and Saskatoon is second at 17 points.
A fresh Wolf: Dustin Wolf yet again played all 60 minutes between the pipes, but saw only 21 shots in the blowout win. All season, the Silvertips’ defense has done a sufficient job of ensuring Wolf isn’t peppered with a flurry of shots game after game, and it will continue to carry importance as Everett’s road trip progresses.
Wolf is seeing about 24 shots per game this season. By contrast, Swift Current netminder Joel Hofer is seeing 46.8 per game — Ouch!
— Everett’s win over Regina puts the Silvertips at 14 points for the season, tied with Seattle for third in the U.S. Division. The first — Portland and Spokane — and the last place — Tri-City — teams in the U.S. Division are separated by just three points.
— Gregg Drinnan, whose blog ‘Taking Note’ covers the WHL, reported that Winnipeg entrepreneur Greg Fettes, part of the new ownership group for the Kootenay Ice, registered the domain name ‘winnipegice.com’ about a week before the WHL announced the transfer of new ownership last April. Read more about that here. The Winnipeg Free Press reported Friday that the team is expected to move from Kootenay to Winnipeg for the 2019-2020 season.