Everett won, 5-2, over Kamloops last night to claim its third victory in three nights. The perfect three-in-three swing, in which the Silvertips were forced by Western Hockey League schedule makers to jet up to Kamloops on Thursday to play the Blazers on Friday, hustle down to Kent for a 6 p.m. game against the Thunderbirds on Saturday and cross the border to face Kamloops again on Sunday for a 5 p.m. start, was incredibly encouraging for Everett.
The Silvertips outscored their three opponents 16-4. Everett is first in the U.S. Division with 28 points, with a game in hand on Portland (25 points) and four games in hand on Tri-City (22 points). Everett is 8-2-0-0 in its last 10 games and is currently riding a four-game winning streak.
Everett is riding awfully high after its three-game road sweep this weekend. Here are the road takeaways:
Palaga’s homecoming: It was a sterling homecoming for Silvertips backup goaltender Max Palaga, a former Blazers netminder and a Kamloops native who was traded to Everett on Oct. 29, made his club debut on Friday in relief of Wolf and started Sunday’s game, picking up the first star after stopping 26 shots and picking up his first win of the season. In 80 minutes played against his former team, the 18-year-old stopped 33-of-36 shots.
It must have been a gratifying experience for Palaga, I’m sure.
Palaga’s performance is also very encouraging for Everett, which struggled to find opportune times to give Dustin Wolf a rest. The Silvertips No. 1 goaltender finally had a chance to sit on the bench with a baseball cap on Friday and Sunday, the first time this season the Silvertips had someone other than Wolf between the pipes.
Secondary scoring heating up: The Silvertips fourth line hasn’t been on the scoresheet much this season. Part of that is because of a dearth of playing time, but the group capitalized on their opportunities on Sunday.
Berezowski has toggled between the fourth and third lines this season, but the rookie forward put together a great weekend, potting two goals and chipping in an assist. Jalen Price, who didn’t record a point in 11 games entering the weekend, also contributed two goals and an assist. Conrad Mitchell, who stands at a towering 6-foot-5 and a sturdy 225 pounds, recorded his first point of the season with an assist on Sunday and flashed a physical presence on the forecheck and creating havoc — the highlight of his weekend was likely a scrap with Seattle’s Tyrel Bauer, which was a blow-by-blow affair.
Silvertips captain Connor Dewar expressed to me after Saturday’s game this: “(Depth scoring) is really important over a long season, 68 games. It can’t be the same guys every night. It’s nice to see the young guys getting rewarded and getting involved with everything they do in our rink and don’t get the credit for.”
It didn’t led up on Sunday.
Balance is everything: The scoring has been very balanced for the Silvertips lately, too. 11 different players recorded a point in Friday’s win at Kamloops and 16 different players contributed a point throughout the weekend. This is the closest Everett has been to possessing four true and capable lines for the first time this season.
Weekend three stars:
1. Connor Dewar: The captain potted three goals — two against Seattle on Saturday and the game-winning goal against Kamloops on Sunday, and chipped in three assists.
2. Wyatte Wylie: The defenseman scored two goals and added two assists, recording a point in all three games.
3. Bryce Kindopp: The Silvertips forward flew under the radar (you can read more about that on my Saturday feature on him) once again, but scored an empty net goal and added three assists in the winning weekend.
The Silvertips host U.S. Division rival Portland on Wednesday at Angel of the Winds Arena.