Tips pay for the error of their ways

EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips know that to compete with the top teams in the WHL, they have to give maximum effort, be disciplined and play mistake-free hockey.

Wednesday night against the Spokane Chiefs, the Tips had the effort and the discipline. However, the mistakes were still there, and Spokane punished those mistakes like a school principal punishes the detention regulars.

Drayson Bowman scored twice and the Chiefs made the most of Everett’s miscues, skating to a 5-2 victory over the Tips at Comcast Arena.

Everett trailed by just one goal early in the third period, won the power-play battle 8-2 thanks to some careless Chief penalties and matched the defending Memorial Cup champions with 37 shots on goal. It was a far cry from the 9-1 debacle the last time the Chiefs were in town two weeks ago.

However, the Tips made mistakes with the wrong players on the ice for Spokane, and that was something Everett couldn’t afford.

“They’re a good team, there’s no question about it,” Everett coach John Becanic said of the Chiefs. “When the top lines are on the ice you have to play mistake-free. For the most part we did that. But we made some costly mistakes at critical times.”

Mitch Wahl, Justin McCrae and Mike Reddington also scored for Spokane (35-16-0-3) and Dustin Tokarski stopped 35 shots in goal for the Chiefs.

Taylor Ellington and Byron Froese scored for Everett (23-25-7-2), which added one top-six forward back to the lineup, but lost another. Left wing Daniel Bartek made a surprise early return from injury. He missed the past month because of a foot fracture and wasn’t expected back until the weekend at the earliest. However, his return was offset by the loss of left wing Tyler Maxwell. Maxwell was found to have a crack in his kneecap and will miss three to four weeks.

Thomas Heemskerk had a strong game in goal for Everett, making 32 saves. However, he was hung out to dry by Everett’s mistakes as he had no chance on Spokane’s goals.

“For the most part I liked our team’s speed and most of our execution,” Spokane coach Hardy Sauter said. “We made a few nice plays and got some shots away from good spots. I thought their goalie made a few good saves, too.”

Everett made its first mistake just 28 seconds into the game when the defense was caught napping, allowing Wahl to slip behind and score on a breakaway to give the Chiefs an early lead.

McCrae finished off a nice passing move on the power play at 7:32, and it looked as though another throttling was in the works. Twelve minutes into the game the Chiefs had outshot the Tips 10-0.

However, the Chiefs then began a steady stream to the penalty box, taking five minors in the final 7:43 of the period, and Everett got one back at 14:11, Ellington one-timing a shot in on a feed from Shane Harper. By the time the period ended the Tips were outshooting the Chiefs 13-11.

It looked as though the Tips were going to survive the second period unscathed thanks to Heemskerk, but Bowman gave the Chiefs a two-goal lead with just 8.7 seconds remaining in the period with a wrister from the slot.

Everett got back within one again 1:38 into the third period, Froese scoring in front after a feed from behind the net by Kellan Tochkin.

But Spokane restored its two-goal advantage at 5:23, Levko Koper holding the puck on the rush and feeding an unmarked Reddington trailing the play.

Any thought of an Everett comeback was put to rest at 10:51 when Ryan White turned the puck over at the blue line, setting up Bowman for his second goal.

“We put that checking line of (Dan) Iwanski, (Dale) Hunt and (Jesse) Burt together and played them against Bowman’s line all night,” Becanic said. “Only two shifts did I not get them out, and those are the two shifts Bowman scored. Both goals were at critical times, one with eight seconds to go in the second and the turnover by White. So that’s pretty frustrating because for the most part I thought they did a good job of shutting him down all night.”

And Becanic wasn’t taking any consolation from Everett’s improved performance against the Chiefs compared to the previous meeting.

“A loss is a loss,” he said. “Whether it’s nine goals or one goal it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t feel any better.”

Chiefs 5, Silvertips 2



First Period—1, Spokane, Wahl 25 (Koper, Reddington), ,0:28. 2, Spokane, McCrae 3 (Johnson, Ulmer), 7:32 (pp). 3, Everett, Ellington 3 (Harper, Dailey), 14:11 (pp). Penalties—Potuer, Everett (interference), 7:18; Hunt, Everett (hooking), 9:48; Donaghy, Spokane (elbowing), 12:17; Calla, Spokane (tripping), 14:11; Bowman, Spokane (tripping), 16:01; Spurgeon, Spokane (hooking), 17:44; Koper, Spokane (delay of game), 19:26.

Second Period—4, Spokane, Bowman 27 (Roman, Reddington), 19:51. Penalties—Wahl, Spokane (hooking), 14:51.

Third Period—5, Everett, Froese 16 (Tochkin, Sohor), 1:38. 6, Spokane, Reddington 2 (Koper, Johnson), 5:23. 7, Spokane, Bowman 28 (Roman), 10:51. Penalties—Ulmer, Spokane (fighting), 5:44; Iwanski, Everett (fighting), 5:44; Letts, Spokane (cross checking), 15:01; Bartek, Everett (elbowing), 15:21; Wahl, Spokane (tripping), 16:06.

Shots on goal—Spokane 11-18-8—37. Everett 13-8-16—37. Power-play opportunities—Spokane 1 of 2. Everett 1 of 8.

Goalies—Spokane, Tokarski 25-11-0-2 (37 shots, 35 saves). Everett, Heemskerk 12-14-3-3 (37 shots, 32 saves).


Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog:

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