EVERETT—Jake Christiansen made history, becoming the first defenseman in Silvertips’ franchise history to record a hat trick, in Everett’s 5-0 shutout of Portland.
Here are the three takeaways:
The shorty king
Bryce Kindopp is the shorty king.
The 19-year-old forward tallied his fifth shorthanded goal of the season after batting in a rebound goal in the second period and Kindopp remains the only Silvertips with multiple shorthanded goals this season and is tied with Prince Albert’s
Kindopp is rewarded because of a willingness to track pucks on the forecheck, enter the zone and subsequently travel to tough areas of the ice, Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said.
“He just sneaks right up there, he just goes to the net,” Williams said. “It was a great entry off it and it was a really good play by Connor (Dewar) hitting (Gianni) Fairbrother there and all the sudden, if you go to the back post, good things are going to happen. That’s where rebounds come. It was a really good play all away around.
“What I really liked from our guys was to finish off and execute that play. … That was a big goal for us.”
The play spotted Everett a two-goal lead and helped swing the momentum further in Everett’s favor. Kindopp’s innate ability to create havoc and generate offense while shorthanded could be a weapon in the postseason for the Silvertips.
Wolf in groove
Following a solid performance against Medicine Hat on Friday, Wolf turned in another terrific performance with a 29-save shutout over the Winterhawks, his sixth shutout of the season and his 10th of his career, putting him tied with Austin Lotz for most all-time shutouts with the Silvertips.
“He’s been good all year, consistent and you need that out of your goaltenders,” Williams said. “He’s proven that time-and-time again and he makes the saves when he needs to and our ‘D’ does a good job of blocking pucks there for him.”
Williams added that Max Patterson was shouting out “Hey, come on. Let’s do this for Wolfie,” when Portland was trying to muster a goal late in the third period.
“That shows how tight of a group they are and the awareness of it and wanting to go out there and do it for him, because a lot of times Wolfie has kept us in games,” Williams said. “I was real proud of hearing our guys talk about that on the bench.”
I think there’s a tinge of Wolf fatigue lately, and I feel that in my coverage of the Silvertips. There was such a curiosity behind whether Wolf could follow Carter Hart’s greatness at the beginning of the season and that angle has been exhausted, so writing about Wolf every night proves tiresome at times.
Frankly, that’s a good sign for Everett. It’s an indication Wolf isn’t exceeding expectations, he’s simply just living up to them.
Penalty kill stellar against dynamic Winterhawks
Despite being without superstar center Cody Glass, Portland’s power play is still a force to be reckoned with, and Everett was able to silence that threat with regular success, not relenting a goal despite five power-play chances.
“I thought it was really good,” Williams said. “I thought what was really good was our penalty kill forecheck. Our ‘D’ being able to gap up and close time-and-space on them and I thought our forwards did a really good job of tracking those pucks and getting on loose pucks. Our clears were better tonight, although we didn’t always get the clears we wanted. There was a commitment to shotblocking and Wolfie was solid in net for us.”
The most impressive showing from Everett’s penalty kill came at the 13:32 mark of the third period, as the Silvertips killed off a 5-on-3 power play, something a team as skilled as Portland usually pounces on. Wolf made a great save to maintain his shutout during that stretch.
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) February 10, 2019
Zack Andrusiak general comments: “It was a great win and a bounceback from yesterday against a division rival.”
Dennis Williams general comments: “I thought we played a really good game. It was probably one of our better 60-minute efforts. Special teams were strong, power play was good, penalty kill was really good, killing off 5-on-3s using different guys out there as well. They are one of the top power play teams in the league. I thought our compete was really good and all-in-all I thought for 60 minutes we played really good hockey. … Real sound game by our guys, especially after yesterday’s disappointment. A real nice bounceback.”
Dennis Williams on clinching playoff spot: “I told the guys congratulations, it’s been 53 games and our first check mark was to get to the playoffs. We’ll try to obtain other goals moving forward. … I think we’ve had consistency. I know we’ve had some hiccups there, but it’s a group that just competes out there time-and-time again. I just think they’re a resilient group. They’re a fun group to coach, they come to the rink, they’re excited to be at the rink and they all want to get better.”
Dennis Williams on Christiansen’s offensive skill: “It’s one thing to recognize it, it’s another to be able to finish it,” Williams said. “You see his growth that I’ve seen over the course of 18, 19 months since I’ve got here, he continues to gain confidence and get pucks to the net. He’s always been a factor this year on the power play on his offensive side. It’s great to see him get rewarded.”
Horton’s three stars
1. Jake Christiansen: The 19-year-old defenseman notched his first career hat trick, becoming the first Silvertip blueliner to record a three goals in a game in the franchise’s history.
2. Dustin Wolf: 29-save shutout was first time Portland have been blanked all year long.
3. Zack Andrusiak: Assisted in each of Christiansen’s three goals.