By Staci C. and Hailey Robinson – Silvertips Staff Writers
Three stars and quotes from after Game 1, when the Silvertips defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-1 to take a 1-0 series lead:
1) Patrick Bajkov: Patty had a tremendous game one to start off his last playoff run of his WHL career with two big goals to propel the Tips over the T-Birds. What ended up being the game winner was a great effort by Bajkov while shorthanded to crash the net and capitalize on Seattle’s turnover in the neutral zone to make it 2-0 Tips. Patty’s fancy stick work didn’t stop there as minutes later he got his second goal of the evening by getting his shot off as quickly as possible with a laser beam from down the middle to make it 3-0 Tips.
2) Matt Fonteyne: The captain continues to be huge for this squad on and off the ice. His ability to read plays and capitalize on the opposing team’s mistakes is what makes him an incredibly dangerous player to be up against. Fonteyne got an awesome 3 assists in a tone setting game 1 victory against Seattle. A nice cross the ice pass to Pilon on the first goal got the team feeling strong against this Seattle foe to make it 1-0 Tips. The second assist came while Everett was shorthanded as Fonteyne was able to gobble up a mistake in the neutral zone and feed Bajkov for the game winner. The insurance goal saw a textbook, clean faceoff win by Fonteyne who was able to feed it quickly back to Bajkov to make it 3-0 Tips.
3) Bryce Kindopp: He consistently makes magic happen. A fantastic individual effort by him to shoot one past Hughes from the circle was the fourth goal of the evening. He brought a hard and physical approach every single shift on the ice and has proven to be a frustrating player to be up against with his speed and control when he has the puck.
ON THE GAME 1 WIN: “Obviously I think it’s important to get off to a quick start. That’s something we emphasized coming into tonight. I’m really proud of the way our locker room came out and started the game, and I think every period we came out with something to prove.”
ON HIS SHORTHANDED GOAL: “He made a great pass to kick it out and they both drove the net really hard, made it a little easier for me to get a lane to get the shot through. Great job by Davis and Fonteyne there to go to the net hard. It’s nice to get the first one, obviously, but we want to restart our mindset coming into tomorrow. Came out good to start every period in the game, and we want to make sure that’s our next focus.”
Head Coach Dennis Williams
ON THE GAME 1 WIN: “I thought we skated well. I thought our intensity was good, the execution was strong. I thought we finished checks well. They played their style, we played our style. Tomorrow’s a whole different day, so as I said to the guys ‘You can enjoy it until you leave the rink, then hit the reset button.’ We know what type of response they’re going bring, we have to be ready for a big challenge.”
ON PATRICK BAJKOV’S GOALS: “Bajkov’s second goal, we got the screen on it, as well as on Larry’s goal. Off the faceoff, good job. Even off of ‘Bajks’ shorthanded goal, Davy was going to the net and caused some traffic and pulled upright. It’s important this time of year. You can see what happens, when their goalie can see pucks he makes the save. I thought we did a much better job in the faceoffs tonight, not just because we scored two goals, but winning those 50/50 pucks. We got to clean up the power play a little bit, but our penalty kill did a great job and obviously we benefitted with a shorthanded goal, which is a plus.”
ON BRYCE KINDOPP’S GOAL: That’s [Bryce], eh, he just goes. Before the game you just wind him up and he plays for 60 minutes. That’s what really makes Bryce such a good hockey player. He just quietly goes about his business. He kept tracking on that and did a good job of not getting your stick up in the air to getting a hooking call or on the ice a tripping call. He stayed with it and caught their goalie quickly off it. That was a great individual effort for sure.
ON THE GAME 1 WIN: “I think we just wanted to take it one shift at a time. They came hard. We knew what it was going to be like; it’s always a pretty hostile environment playing in the playoffs as well as playing Seattle. Like I said, we just tried to keep it simple and play it one shift at a time. Just playing smart defensively, tracking hard, and trying to get back. Trying to create offense when we can, not trying to cheat. Just trying to play the game the right way and capitalizing on turnovers.”
ON KINDOPP’S GOAL: “Just great for Kindopp. Shows what kind of player he is. Doesn’t give up on plays and has got a ton of skill as well. Really good showing for him.”
ON THE TIPS POWER PLAY: “Obviously special teams is a big factor in the playoffs. We’ll watch some video, maybe tune things up. I think it was just not bearing down on little passes, not making the simple play. I think we were trying a bit too much, so moving forward maybe just trying to keep it a little more simple.”