By Staci C. – Silvertips staff writer
KENT, Wash. – Despite a late loss on Friday night to the Seattle Thunderbirds, the Everett Silvertips pushed through with a hard fought battle and there’s no doubt that the level of compete between these two teams escalate when they play each other. Throughout the game, fans remained very tense and every break in the action was a relief as they were able to exhale and take a breath in those moments.
Like the Silvertips home ice control at XFINITY Arena, ShoWare Center has proven to be a tough building to play in, considering that their hosts have not lost a game here since December 30, 2016. Matt Fonteyne was able to confirm that it’s a tough building but having a good start was key to staying in the game for the full 60 minutes.
“We haven’t been a good starting team here and I thought we worked hard in the first – I didn’t think we had a good start to the second,” said head coach Kevin Constantine. “I know we scored but if you look at the first ten shifts, other than that goal, they [Seattle] were better to the start of the second but we did get off to a better start in the first period than has been the norm in this building.”
Taking a look at the last six games for Everett is critical. Seattle is now first in the U.S. Division but Everett has two games in hand, setting the table for the final eight days of the regular season. Everett clinched home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs with Prince George’s win over Tri-City earlier tonight. Everett’s pursuit of first place in the division means another banner would look great at XFinity Arena, but also because of a longer guarantee of home ice advantage in the playoffs. Everett has been outstanding at home throughout the season, with a record of 24-7-2-2 in downtown Everett.
As the season dwindles down and the playoffs are close, Everett’s big starts in the first period often meant success. They have picked up points in eight of the last nine games in which they’ve held a lead after one period, and are 24-1-2-1 when leading after 20 minutes all season. Despite getting the first goal in the second period, the Silvertips struggled through several minutes of a momentum shift and salvaged a 2-2 tie after Connor Dewar’s timely goal with less than a minute to play.
One thing you can be certain on: the table is set for amazing theatrics heading into the last week of the regular season.
This story was not subject to approval by the WHL or its member clubs.