EVERETT – Tonight the Everett Silvertips break out their bats and gloves and head out to the diamond …
Oops. Wrong sport.
However, while the Silvertips are not forsaking hockey for baseball, they are imitating their bat-wielding counterparts when they play hockey’s version of a doubleheader tonight against the Prince George Cougars.
For the first time in Western Hockey League history, four points will be on the line in one night when the Tips and Cougars face off tonight in Prince George, B.C. First the teams will play the third period of the interrupted game from Oct. 28, in which Everett was trailing 2-1 after two periods when damaged ice forced the game’s postponement.
That will be immediately followed by the regularly scheduled game.
All of which presents the teams with a unique challenge.
“I don’t know what to think about it,” Everett coach Kevin Constantine said Monday via cell phone from Prince George. “Obviously this is a unique situation. There’s no precedent for it and no strategies for it because it’s unheard of.
“It’s different, but we’re not going to apply any special strategies or change our preparations.”
Action will begin as scheduled at 7 p.m., with the puck dropping for the third period of the postponed game. The Cougars had a 2-1 lead thanks to goals by Devin Setoguchi and Eric Hunter, with Zach Hamill scoring for Everett. The teams are not bound by the original lineups, meaning right wing Dan Gendur, who was a Cougar (but scratched) for the original game but is now a Silvertip, is free to suit up for Everett.
“My biggest disappointment is that Gendur wasn’t in the lineup for that game,” Constantine quipped. “He could have become the answer to one of the great trivia questions.”
Upon completion of the first game, the ice will be resurfaced and the second game will be launched immediately, minus the full pregame program.
The teams also have the option of changing lineups for the second game, but that’s not something Everett will be able to utilize as the Tips took just 20 bodies to Prince George.
Defenseman Taylor Ellington, who had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher during Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Seattle after slamming face-first into the boards, did not travel with the team. Ellington escaped major injury, but he’ll be held out one-to-two weeks because of neck soreness.
Also not making the trip because of injuries were left wings Ondrej Fiala (knee) and Brennan Sonne (spleen). Left wing Kyle Beach is also absent because of the Canada Winter Games. Therefore, 1990-born call-up Matt Ius remained with the team and will play in all three games on the road trip.