EVERETT SILVERTIPS (2-1-0-0) vs. SPOKANE CHIEFS (3-3-0-0)
Saturday, October 10, 2015, 7:05 pm
SITE: XFINITY ARENA
The Silvertips open the 2015-16 home schedule tonight, “Fill the House Night,” in the first meeting of the season with the Spokane Chiefs. Everett ends a six-day layoff and will be playing in their second game in the last 11 days before finishing the weekend with the second game in as many days, Sunday vs. Prince Albert. The Silvertips went 5-3-0-0 last season against Spokane and defeated the Chiefs in six games to advance to the second round of the WHL postseason. The Silvertips are 47-51-1-4, lifetime against Spokane. The Silvertips will play eight of their next ten games at home.
Tonight’s matchup is the first of ten meetings this season between the Silvertips and Chiefs, who will meet again Nov. 11 after this evening to open a home-and-home series. The Silvertips own an all-time home record of 30-20-1-2 lifetime against the Chiefs and won the last meeting, 5-4 on Mar. 22 at Spokane Arena (Brayden Low earned the game-winning goal).
Spokane is ending a six-game road trip tonight, currently 2-3-0 on the trip and dropping a 5-0 defeat last night at Portland. Kailer Yamamoto leads the Chiefs with nine points in six games. Head Coach Don Nachbaur became the fourth coach, last season, to reach the 600-win plateau in the Western Hockey League (joining Ken Hodge, Lorne Molleken and Don Hay).
LAST 3 GAMES:
EVT 3 – POR 1 (10/3/15): Noah Juulsen scored the eventual game-winning goal in his regular season debut, while Devon Skoleski buried the first two goals of his WHL career and Carter Hart made 34 saves to lift the Everett Silvertips to a 3-1 victory over the host Portland Winterhawks, before a crowd of 9,581 at Moda Center on Saturday. Everett (2-1-0-0, 4 points), sending the Winterhawks to their third straight loss to start the season, spoiled their home opener with three unanswered goals while Jake Christiansen and Sean Mallonee, each playing in just their second game of their career, gathered their first WHL points.
PG 5 – EVT 1 (9/27/15): Jesse Gabrielle scored twice on the power play and the Prince George Cougars earned the first four goals to skate past the Everett Silvertips (1-1-0-0, 2 points), 5-1 before a crowd of 2,290 at CN Centre on Sunday. The Cougars blew open a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes with three goals in the second period, and the Silvertips managed a goal by Matt Fonteyne to spoil Mack Shields’ shutout bid. Both teams managed a split of the two games, ending the Silvertips’ only trip of the season to Prince George. The Silvertips were without defenseman Noah Juulsen, defenseman Tristen Pfeifer and captain Dawson Leedahl for the game.
EVT 2 – PG 0 (9/25/15): Goaltender Carter Hart opened the season with his fifth career shutout, stoning the Prince George Cougars on 27 saves in the Everett Silvertips’ 2-0 victory on Friday at CN Centre. Hart, who duplicated his performance of last season (blanking Seattle in a 1-0 road shutout win), was supported by Patrick Bajkov’s second period goal and an empty netter by rookie Connor Dewar. Hart outdueled Ty Edmonds’ 33 stops and the Silvertips won the season opener for the fourth time in the last six seasons (4-1-1). The Silvertips outshot Prince George, 21-12 in the second period.
Everett’s current roster includes 26 players. A total of 15 of those players were regulars on last year’s team, while five others saw spot duty with Everett last season. A total of 12 players on the Silvertips roster enter their first full WHL season. The ‘Tips are still carrying four overagers and three goaltenders. Although he is not currently on the roster, Montreal Canadiens first round (2014) selection, Nikita Scherbak is eligible to return to the Silvertips if Montreal does not elect to keep him on the NHL or AHL roster.
The Silvertips own a record of 5-5-1-1 lifetime in home openers at XFINITY Arena, last winning to open the 2013-14 home campaign, 8-3 over the Prince George Cougars (Josh Winquist earned a hat trick and added an assist).
The Silvertips, blanking Prince George in the season opener on Sept. 25 while allowing 27 shots, ranked second in the WHL last season for fewest goals allowed (2.7) per game and fewest shots allowed per game (27.9). The Tips allowed four goals or less in 50 games last season, going 39-7-1-3 in that situation. They outshot their opponent in 33 games, going 25-7-0-1.
THE KEVIN CONSTANTINE FILE
Kevin Constantine returns for his seventh season overall as head coach of the Silvertips, ranking as the club’s all-time leader in wins (246) and posting a record of 246-141-48 in his Everett career. All four of the Silvertips’ division titles have been achieved with Constantine as head coach, most recently last season which was Everett’s first since 2006-07. He was the recipient of the Dunc McCallum Trophy (WHL Coach of the Year) in 2003-04, when the Silvertips broke nearly every WHL expansion record and became the first expansion team in WHL history to win a division title. Constantine has coached in the NHL over the course of seven seasons with San Jose, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, helping guide all three clubs to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
RAISING THE BANNER
Tonight, the Silvertips will celebrate their fourth U.S. Division title in club history in a pregame ceremony, raising the banner to the rafters of XFINITY Arena. It encapsulates a season where the Silvertips reached the 40-win plateau and the 90-point mark for the first time since 2009-10, and advanced to the second round of postseason play for the first time since 2006-07. Below are comparables from each season:
YEAR FINISH WINS POINTS GF GA
2014-15 1ST, U.S. 43 95 242 199 (2ND, WHL)
2006-07 1ST, U.S. 54* 111(1ST, WHL) 239 142(1ST, WHL)
2005-06 1ST, U.S. 40 85 203 158 (3RD, WHL)
2003-04 1ST, U.S. 35 80 157 153(2ND, WHL)
* Silvertips record
NEXT 3 GAMES COVERAGE
Sunday, October 11 vs. Prince Albert 4:05pm Fox Sports 1380 AM
Friday, October 16 @ Portland 7:05pm 1520 AM KKXA
Friday, October 23 vs. Portland 7:35pm 1520 AM KKXA
* Remi Laurencelle is 6 games away from 100 in his Silvertips career and 200 in his WHL career
* Dawson Leedahl is 22 games away from 100 in his WHL and Silvertips career
* Cole MacDonald is 2 games away from 200 in his WHL career
* Patrick Bajkov is 33 points away from 100 in his WHL career