EVERETT, Wash. – Kieffer Bellows scored twice and Cody Glass added a goal with two assists, and the Everett Silvertips fell to the Portland Winterhawks, 7-4 in the season opener before a crowd of 5,873 at XFINITY Arena on Saturday in WHL action.
The Silvertips, who sprung out of the gate with a 2-0 lead, were led by Matt Fonteyne’s pair of goals while Reece Vitelli and Riley Sutter each scored as well. The Silvertips, who had won three of their last four home openers, return to play Sunday at 4:05 p.m. against the Tri-City Americans at XFINITY Arena. Tickets are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/openingweekend.
The first period was a strong start for the boys in green as Fonteyne scored on the first shot of the game at 4:35 with assistance from Connor Dewar and Patrick Bajkov making it 1-0 Tips. At 10:12 Henri Jokiharju launched the puck over the glass for a delay of game, giving the Tips their first power play of the season. At 11:45 Conor MacEachern took a hooking penalty, giving the Tips a brief 5-on-3. Although pressure was applied, the Tips were unable to convert via 5-on-3 or 5-on-4. Reece Vitelli, making his WHL debut, scored his first career goal at the 17 minute mark, making it 2-0 Tips – Bryce Kindopp and Montana Onyebuchi (on a point shot) had the helpers on the goal. The second period is where everything that could go wrong, went wrong for Everett. Portland gained the lead with 3 goals in less than 3 minutes. Bellows scored on a tip at the net, at 2:43. MacEachern tied it on a wrister from between the circles at 3:36 and McKenzie buried a rebound at 5:14. The Hawks, repeatedly denying zone entries for the Silvertips, made the score 4-2 as Blichfeld buried a wrister from the right wing at 8:52. Dorrin Luding, starting in net while Carter Hart was unavailable due to illness, exited with 15 saves and was replaced by Danton Belluk. The Manitoba goaltender, making his WHL debut, got into the action with a save from in tight on Henri Jokiharju but Alex Overhardt extended the lead to 5-2, scoring on an end-to-end rush with a backhander from the right circle. The Silvertips unfortunately squandered a two man advantage and a Kieffer Bellows snapper made it 6-2 at 18:20, before Fonteyne ended Portlandâ€™s momentum with his second goal of the game with 34 seconds left.
The third period was a lot more even keeled but the hole created was too hard to climb out of for the Silvertips. Cody Glass added to the Winterhawks’ tally at 2:05 on a wrister at the left circle for a 7-3 lead.
On the 10th power play of the night, Riley Sutter was finally able to breakthrough from the bottom of the right circle and gave the Silvertips their fourth goal of the evening at 15:20.
Cole Kehler, Portland netminder, made 22 saves.
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Pavel Azhgirei, Kyle Walker, Ethan Browne, Riley Bruce, Carter Hart, and Dustin Wolf… Hart was reassigned earlier in the day, officially by Philadelphia, but was out of the lineup due to illness. the Silvertips fell to 7-6-1-1 lifetime in home openers.
Dewar – Fonteyne – Bajkov
Centazzo – Sutter – Fasko-Rudas
Richards – Vitelli – Butt
Hein – Liwiski – Butt
Wylie – Onyebuchi
Fairbrother – I. Walker
— SILVERTIP COUNTRY —