Please don’t let it end.
In what was their last regular season meeting, the Everett Silvertips edged Seattle 3-2 in front of 6,039 at acesso ShoWare Center Saturday night.
It would be a treat to watch these two teams compete in the post-season. Nine of their ten games have been decided by one goal.
Saturday saw the Thunderbirds fall behind 2-0 in the first period. Garrett Pilon and Patrick Bajkov assisted on Matt Fonteyne’s power-play goal (33) at 3:41 and Bryce Kindropp scored at 13:38 with helpers from Reece Vitelli and Martin Fasko-Rudus.
“First period wasn’t our best. They came with some jump,” said Thunderbirds head coach Matt O’Dette. “It took us a little bit to get our legs going and we just fell short. That was a real good hockey game. A real intense battle.”
Strong starts have been a Silvertips theme in their first place resume.
“Definitely two teams that play each other hard. It was an exciting game,” said Everett head coach Dennis Williams. “We always want to get that first goal of the game. It’s important. It’s a mindset.”
Seattle’s barrage of 16 shots in the second period cracked Everett goaltender Carter Hart when Nolan Volcan lit the lamp at 11:03 for his 31st goal of the season. It was a power-play with assists from Donovan Neuls and Jarret Tyszka.
Sparks flew with thirty seconds left in the second when Everett defenseman Ondrej Vala crushed Zack Andrusiak into the boards head first. Thunderbirds captain Turner Ottenbreit leaped to his teammates defense and was penalized for instigating,
“We’re brothers in there and something like that happens, we’re not going to let that fly,” said the riled up defenseman. “It’s a dirty hit, you see ( Andrusiak), he’s hurt. That’s not going to happen around here.”
The Silvertips then killed a three minute Seattle man-advantage in the early minutes of the third, “That penalty kill was huge. This time of year you need your special teams to do things at the right time,” said Williams.
Kindropp netted the eventual game winner during a four-on-four at 15:02, “For our guys to come into this rink and get the win with their crowd behind them and the environment, it was another good road win (21-10-0-2) for our guys,” said Williams.
Please don’t let this be their last meeting.
This could be a preview of a first-round playoff preview. Both teams don’t mind the prospect of meeting again. So, coach O’Dette, what if it’s Everett in a best-of-seven series?
“It should be a fun series. Looking at all the games we’ve played against these guys, they’ve been really competitive, really intense. It has a playoff feel every time we play. Should be hard fought battle and the fans would be definite winners in that situation..”
“It’s a good rivalry. All these games are fun, high energy and it would be fun for everyone,” added Ottenbreit.
Kindropp agrees it would be great for the WHL and especially Pacific Northwest hockey, “If it’s Seattle, it’s going to be a great series. They’re a good team, but we’re a good team too.”
O’Dette believes this final regular season game could be a preview of things to come.
And if it is Everett vs Seattle or Seattle vs Everett, fans should expect more sell-out crowds, more one goal games, more cowbell, more Sweet Caroline and bright lights, and more rivalry.
Parting would be such sweet sorrow, so let’s pass on the sorrow and have a series.