SPOKANE— The Silvertips once again came alive in the third period and poured on three goals over the final 20 minutes in a 3-1 win over the Chiefs on Tuesday. The game story can be read at the link.
Here are the three takeaways:
Seeley sheds monkey off his back
Ronan Seeley is a rink rat.
At Silvertips he’s often the last player off the ice, whacking slapshot after slapshot into an open net, before departing for the locker room.
And while scoring goals isn’t a direct correlation of growth and development, Seeley reaped a big reward for his hard work, clapping a shot from the point past Chiefs goaltender Bailey Brkin for his first career Western Hockey League goal.
“I give Ronan a lot of credit. He sticks with it,” Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said. “He’s one of the guys that goes on the ice the most off our team. It’s good to see his hard work pay off.”
It took Seeley 48 games to notch his first WHL tally. Now that Seeley has made it on the scoresheet, every player on Everett’s roster has scored a goal this season.
“It’s especially tough for a d-man,” Williams said. “It’s a little bit harder out there when you’re not on the power play and stuff like that, it makes it tough. And there’s no doubt kids think about it. You hope they don’t beat themselves up too much over it.”
Seeley will admit that he was indeed thinking about it.
“I was getting a little nervous there, the last couple games,” Seeley said. “It’s a really good feeling. I’ve been working on my shot all year and I want to be just as good as everyone else. It’s just a representation of how I’m growing up.”
Williams added he’s thrilled with Seeley’s development in his debut season in the WHL and gushed about his outlook as a player.
“He’s only going to get better and better as he gets stronger and stronger,” Williams said. “He’s got a bright, bright future and career here with us and I truly believe he’s going to have a pro career as well.”
Nothing Butt praise
Dawson Butt potted his goal, driving to the top of the crease, which allowed
The goal was a nice cherry on top to a solid all-around game from Butt, according to Williams.
“I thought Dawson Butt played a great game for us,” Williams said. “A quiet game that went about his business. Not just because he scored the goal, but leading up to it for the first 40 minutes, I thought he was probably our most consistent forward up there. And we need to continue to have that from our depth players.”
Butt is three games back after an upper-body injury forced him to miss a significant length of time. His goal on Tuesday was his first point since rejoining the lineup.
Everett closed the season without losing to Spokane in regulation in 2018-2019. The Silvertips were 6-0-2 against the Chiefs this season.
Is the Silvertips’ record against Spokane misleading? Perhaps. The Chiefs have rarely been healthy this season, with Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Ty Smith and a host of others hopping off-and-on the injury report this season.
But Spokane was healthy on Tuesday and looked outmatched in the third.
Everett matches up well with Spokane, and that was demonstrated on Tuesday. The Chiefs’ offense is its strength — Spokane is second in the Western Conference with 235 points, but Everett is sturdy on its backend and makes few mistakes — a defensive miscue on the penalty kill helped lead to Anderson-Dolan’s goal, but Everett didn’t allow anything else.
The Chiefs have a tendency to get stuck in their own zone and Everett, with a persistent forecheck and talented possession players, can thrive in that situation.
The likelihood of the two team’s meeting in the postseason is far from guaranteed, but it’s possible: Spokane and Portland are on a crash course to meet in a first-round matchup and the Chiefs are 3-2-1 against the Winterhawks this season. If Everett advances, a seven-game series with Spokane could be on the horizon.
Williams on second period: “Penalties hurt us, against a really good power-play unit. They scored a really nice goal from Anderson-Dolan. … When you kill five minutes in a row against a really good power-play unit, we took positives out of that and took that in the third.”
Continued from Williams: “We were fighting the puck and the pace of it. But in the third I thought our leadership showed and the way we play showed, to be honest. It was probably lopsided in terms of possession time and offensive zone time in the first two periods. They had us in our end quite a bit. But we played good defense and Wolfie played strong. We’ll take two points and the win.”
Horton’s three stars:
1. Ronan Seeley: His first WHL goal was a key one, opening the floodgates for Everett’s offense in the third.
2. Dustin Wolf: Didn’t rack up a ton of saves with 24, but many were solid chances from Spokane.
3. Jaret Anderson-Dolan: Made plays all over the ice and potted Spokane’s lone goal.