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WHL US DIVISION – Everett Silvertips Notebook: Offense fails to produce on road trip

Silvertips score only one goal in final two games against the Central Division.

Doris Rupert

Everett was on a roll before hitting the road to finish their Central Division swing. The Silvertips recorded at least one point in the last 11 games with a record of 9-0-2 while building a seven point lead in the US Division. They have a goaltender that has been lights-out with a GAA that tops the league. Everett was hoping their momentum would continue against Edmonton and Red Deer.

Loss to Edmonton 1-0

Despite chances from both teams during the first period, neither would find the back of the net. Shots were close -- Edmonton managed to outshoot Everett 8-7 during the period. Everett was 0-3 on power plays in this game.  After two periods neither team was able to score a goal with Everett leading in shots 12-9. Despite two power play chances during the period, Everett was unable to break the goose egg. Throughout the game Everett did a great job not giving Edmonton power play chances but at 8:27 in the third period Dario Winkler was called for interference and it would be costly.

With only seven seconds on the man advantage the Oil Kings would cash in. Edmonton won a faceoff which led to Meyer receiving a pass by the slot and sneaking a shot five hole on Carter Hart. Everett would pull Hart with 2:04 left in the game but were unable to score an equalizer. The Silvertips would fall 1-0 in Edmonton also snapping an 11 game point streak. Carter Hart stopped 23/24 shots in the loss.

Loss to Red Deer 4-1

Everett had to put the loss in Edmonton behind them because the very next night they squared off against the Memorial Cup Host Red Deer Rebels. The Rebels are loaded with offensive firepower recording 178 goals in 48 games. Everett would also have to play against a familiar face on the other team. Ivan Nikolishin, acquired from Everett in the offseason, now leads his new club in points. Only 40 seconds into the game and Everett would have a power play opportunity with Brandon being called for a trip. Everett would take advantage midway through the power play with a goal from Graham. Noah Juulsen snapped a wrister from the blue line and Millar was able to deflect the puck in giving Everett the 1-0 lead at 1:48.

Everett would maintain their 1-0 after the first period while also outshooting Red Deer 15-8. Another familiar face would help Red Deer tie the game at 5:15 during the second period. Former Spokane Chief Adam Helewka who was acquired by Red Deer near the trade deadline helped tie the game. Michael Spacek from the left circle would send a pass to Helewka who was alone and beat Carter Hart glove side. At 8:15 Matt Fonteyne would be called for a high stick which led to a Red Deer power play goal. Colton Bobyk blasted a shot from the point that zipped right past Hart to put Red Deer up 2-1 at 8:59.

Four minutes later the Rebels would increase their lead to two goals when Grayson Pawlenchuk scored off a rebounded shot. After two periods the Rebels outshot Everett 11-9 while maintaining their 3-1 lead. Early in the third period Red Deer tacked on another goal.  Hagel would get behind Everett's defense and would score five hole on Hart at 4:55. Now with a 4-1 lead, a comeback would be extremely difficult for Everett. Everett would fall 4-1 to the Rebels and would be outshot 5-6 in the final period. Carter Hart stopped 21/25 shots in the loss.

The Silvertips still lead the US Division by five points. Everett will have a big weekend facing division rivals starting with a game in the Tri-Cities on Friday January 29.  The ‘Tips will return home the following night for a huge matchup against Seattle and finish up the weekend by welcoming Spokane.