By Staci C. – Silvertips Staff Writer
Three things that are good to know with the Tips transitioning into Saturday, home vs. Portland:
1) Ethan O’Rourke: Friday night was Ethan O’Rourke’s first game as a Silvertip, traded to Everett from Prince George on January 1. Despite primarily playing right wing in Prince George, O’Rourke has tremendous skill as a centerman and the coaching staff plans on utilizing him down the middle to have more depth. “I expect bigger and better things out of him [in regards to his play tonight] but once he gets comfortable and understands his role and what he needs to get done, it’s a beauty to have that size down the middle,” said Silvertips assistant coach Mitch Love, on Tips radio coverage.
2) Score is misleading: When you look at a 5-0, you usually assume that everything went wrong for the team on the losing end. This is not the case in tonight’s game against the Royals. The game scoreless for 36 minutes of play before Victoria got its first goal. Even despite the quick goal at the beginning of the third, the Silvertips still had plenty of time and opportunities to make things interesting. The problem is that the third period was extremely defeating for the team and it was easy to let Victoria run away with the game with their skill. “I thought we lacked a lot of compete, a lot of jump,” said Love. “That started with our veteran players. A lot of our veterans were terrible tonight but they weren’t as good as they need to be with players at this level and lead us on where we need to go.”
3) Dustin Wolf was fine: A goaltender being pulled in most cases will mean that the goaltender had a poor start. On the contrary, Dustin Wolf had a very impressive game especially early, and the quick succession of goals were not necessarily his fault as compared to a scrambling set of Tips flat on their feet and chased the Royals through the entirety of the third period. Wolf was pulled to change the atmosphere for the team for the rest of the third as well as to preserve his energy as there are two more games this weekend and he continues to the guy while Carter Hart is still away with World Junior commitments and rest.
The Tips are looking for a quick bounce back as they return home tomorrow to play 2nd place U.S. Division team the Portland Winterhawks and will play again on Sunday as they will have another chance to crack Griffen Outhouse and the Royals.