By Hailey Robinson – Silvertips Staff Writer
What it means:
Despite the loss, the Silverips remain in the lead of the U.S. Division and Western Conference. The point earned in playing past regulation keeps the team a solid three point ahead of the second place Western conference team, the Kelowna Rockets, who also lost in a shootout tonight. The Tips also remain five points ahead of the second place U.S. Division team, the Portland Winterhawks.
“We score on our power play, at least one or two of them, and there’s a difference in the hockey game,” head coach Dennis Williams said.
While the inability to score on the power play (0-of-5) was in part due to Seattle’s penalty kill, the Silvertips look for improvement with their own special teams.
“We had rebounds but we’re getting knocked off the puck too easily, and not one to hang around and battle for those pucks, so that’s something we’ll definitely have to address,” Williams said.
Everett dominated in shots 43-32, 21 of those shots coming in the third period. Despite that heavy shot pressure, not a single one made it past Luding as the third period went scoreless.
“We had our chance to score goals, and a lot of times we put them right at his chest,” Williams said. “We didn’t have to make him move too much.”
For the Silvertips, it’s clearly not the shots on goal that’s the issue, but converting those shots to goals.
“I tell our guys it’s great to get the ESPN top-ten highlight goals but the likelihood of that always happening is slim,” Williams said. “You’ve got to get it in there and battle through it and wear teams down.
Complete, three periods
While the third period was one of dominant puck control from the Silvertips, they were matched in shots in the first and outshot in the second.
“We looked not really in-tune the first two periods,” Williams said. “It was too bad, we had a great crowd, great atmosphere, and we let a point slip away on us.”
Though Everett’s two goals came in the first two periods, an earlier dominant start always has the possibility to be a difference-maker in a 60 minute game. It was a tough, physical matchup from the beginning, and starting out with confidence to finish up early is the key to getting the Silvertips high volume of shots past the opposing goalie.
What comes next
The Silvertips will face the Kamloops Blazers in their third game in as many days. Kamloops played tonight at home against Prince George, and lost 7-6 in a shootout. The Silvertips will have the home ice advantage against the Blazers, and are heading into the game with a mentality to win in regular time. Their magic number is five points to clinch a playoff berth and a regulation win reduces the number to just one point.
“A lot of teams look at games like that’s another tie there for you guys, you’ve done pretty well the last twelve or thirteen games there,” Williams said. “But to us that’s a loss and we’ve got to respond appropriately tomorrow and have a better 60 minute effort.”