Three takeaways: Wolf’s stickhandling a weapon in Tips win

Power-play woes continue; Kindopp achieves number nirvana

The Everett Silvertips came out victorious in a physical game against the Tri-City Americans, 4-1, on Saturday after their four-game win streak and 16-game point streak was snapped. Read the game story here, which featured newly-acquired Justyn Gurney after his two-assist night.

Here are the three takeaways:

Dustin Wolf: Offensive threat

Don’t sleep on the Silvertips goaltender as a player who can help lead the rush.

The 17-year-old netminder made a tremendous play that led to Everett’s game-winning goal, firing all the way through the neutral zone to Gage Goncalves’ stick, who was parked right in front of the offensize zone. The rookie forward skated the puck up the ice, dished it to Bryce Kindopp, who flung it to Connor Dewar for the goal on the odd-man rush.

“They chipped the puck in and it was coming in pretty slow. I saw a couple guys on the far blueline. I wasn’t sure if it was going to get there or not, so I just tested my luck and threw it up there. Luckily, it went our way.”

That chance doesn’t happen without Wolf’s elite stickhandling.

“(It’s) unbelievable,” Williams said. “He plays the puck so well. I said to him right there before he came out after that first pass that he should have had an assist for that play. He’s so headsy with it. I think at the beginning of the year he’s was overplaying it up there; There is a time to throw it up there when you know you have three support guys. … But he’s a threat that way and that’s one of his real good strengths.”

It’s something Wolf has showcased a lot this season. There’s rarely a time where Wolf stumbles around with the puck or makes an errant turnover, leading to a chance for the oppostion.

Wolf said it’s something that’s developed over time since he was a young goaltender.

“It’s just years and years of practicing it,” Wolf said. “My goalie coach (James Jensen), he’s stressed it a lot and it not only helps yourself and your chances to get to the next level, but also it can help your team in the process. It’s a benefit both ways and just another way to help try and get wins.”

Power-play woes continue

After an 0-for-5 performance with the man-advantage on Friday at Tri-City, Everett’s power-play was an abysmal 1-for-7 against the Americans on Saturday.

“Yeah, the power-play wasn’t very good at all tonight,” Williams said while shrugging his shoulders, “it wasn’t good last night either. Those guys have got to do a better job. We have five veterans out there and we have to start talking about more as a group and as a unit. There wasn’t a lot of flow to it.”

The acqusition of Zack Andrusiak on New Year’s Day adds a different element to it’s power play. He was skating with the Silvertips’ first unit, taking the injured Riley Sutter’s spot alongside Dewar, Kindopp, Wyatte Wylie and Jake Christiansen. But there were times when Williams was mixing up the first and second units and even introducing new players entirely to create a spark.

“It’s something that we have to continue to work on and build on. It’s definitely a work in progress. It started to get going a little bit with (Sutter), Suttsy goes out and Zack (Andrusiak) comes in, he’s a great player, but it’s just not the same. I’m glad we stayed out of the box today and didn’t give up a lot of power play chances.

“We have to continue to get better because if you want to play late in the second half and want a chance to play in the playoffs, your power play has to be clicking. It’s something we have to continue to work on.”

An empty net goal to extend Everett’s lead to 4-1 doesn’t seem very noteworthy. But Kindopp, who wears jersey No. 19, notched his 19th goal of the season at the 19:19 mark.

How about that for numerical synergy?

(Also, a shoutout to Silvertips public relations intern Tim Shafer for pointing me out this nugget.)


General comments from Williams: “I was real proud of our effort. I really challenged the guys. I thought we played an OK game on Friday and well enough to win and didn’t. They’re a very opportunistic team. If you give them time and space they’ll score goals, but I thought our guys did a real job tonight after some long travel last night and getting reset and refocused. To be able to salvage a split like that against a good team was great and we’ll hit reset button tomorrow afternoon.”

Williams on Gurney: “It was nice to see him contribute. We need more depth scoring, we need more depth scoring up front especially. … He brings speed and brings some physicality to our team and some energy. He’s great on the bench with the guys too.”

Gurney on “When I came in they didn’t assign me a role or anything, they just wanted to see what I got,” Gurney said. “I came in wanting to keep it simple, simple plays and keep it physical. That’s what I did tonight, just another step for me from the Tri-City game the other night.

Horton’s three stars

1. Justyn Gurney: The recently-acquired forward set up two goals, including the opening tally.

2. Connor Dewar: The Silvertips captain recorded the game-winning goal and won 50 percent of his faceoffs, an important stat for a team missing its No. 1 center in Sutter.

3. Beck Warm: The Americans netminder registers yet another solid performance against Everett despite the loss, turning away 35 shots. Warm has averaged 36.3 saves in four games against the Silvertips this season.

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