EVERETT—Mads Sogaard posted a 41-save shutout and the Silvertips fell to visiting Medicine Hat, 1-0, in the two team’s only meeting of the season on Friday.
Here are the three takeaways:
Quantity is quality
There’s an adage in junior hockey that every shot is a quality shot. Dennis Williams subscribes to that belief.
“I think every shot is quality,” Williams said. “You score zero goals from shots you don’t take. If you look at what we did there, we had a lot of opportunities net-front. He’s a top-ranked goalie and you saw that tonight. It was plenty. I’d rather have 45 shots in the offensive zone than 45 at our net and 20 the other way.”
The WHL doesn’t track time in the offensive zone, but there wasn’t a feeling Everett tilted significantly in their favor for a considerable portion of the game. But Williams brings up a valid point, in that Everett is giving itself a chance by peppering a great deal of shots and proving it’s not dwelling in the opponent’s zone. Everett also was presented with sterling chances, just Sogaard was too sturdy.
This has been a theme lately in Everett losses. For example:
—Kelowna’s James Porter Jr.: 30 saves in a 2-0 shutout. Everett outshot Kelowna, 30-21.
—Portland’s Joel Hofer: 32 saves in a 5-1 win over Silvertips. Everett outshot Portland, 34-32.
—Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse: 39 saves in a 2-1 win over Silvertips. Everett outhosue Victoria 40-22.
And of course, Sogaard on Friday.
It would be more troublesome if Everett was scratching and clawing for chances. It’s a matter of Everett burying a few more chances and chipping away at top notch netminders when Wolf and the Silvertips’ defense is playing at a high level.
“I thought we have to continue to get pucks to the net,” Wolf said. “I think we got a lot of pucks on net, but I thought a lot of them were on ice and a lot of them were simple pad saves. We have get pucks east and west and get the goalies moving. Those are the toughest for sure. Just some simple things to improve on for tomorrow and hopefully we can have a similar performance.”
The Danish netminder demonstrated why he’s the third-ranked goaltender in NHL Central Scouting rankings on Friday by posting his third shutout of the season, and his stretch during Everett’s third power play of the game was the most impressive stretch.
Sogaard first sprawled out to make a blocker save as Wylie fired a one-timer at a wide-open net, a save only a select few goaltenders in junior hockey are capable of making. He followed that up with a cheeky glove save on a backdoor chance as the man-advantage expired, squelching Everett’s best chance to break the scoreless tie.
Don’t forget about Wolf
Everett didn’t have a chance for an equalizer late in the first period if it wasn’t for Wolf, who turned in another solid performance by stopping 28-of-29 shots. His goal allowed was savable, but not an egregious mistake on his part.
“I thought he played really well tonight,” Williams said. “That’s what good goalies do.”
Horton’s three stars
1. Mads Sogaard: Who else? The 2000-born goaltender turned in his third shutout of the season
2. Dustin Wolf: His 28 saves kept Everett in the game.
3. James Hamblin: The Tigers captain was at the right place, right time and tipped in the game-winning goal.