You decide: another Kindopp moment in a tense game that went “down to the wire,” versus a game changing play in a rival’s building that swung wildly and violently in two directions.
The Silvertips Play of the Year carries on: the next first round matchup is a tale of two plays both involving U.S. Division rivals, and both in an extreme moment of tension that ended with nearly unforgettable game breakers.
Keep voting: each time you do, you’re entered to win Tips Opening Night tickets.
#3 SEED: Bryce’s OT Buzzer Beater: It happened the night before Bryce Kindopp beat the Seattle Thunderbirds with less than one second left in overtime, and perhaps for a bit, Mar. 1 vs. Tri-City was known as the ultimate “gut-it-out” win. The Tips were in a game of an unstoppable force (closing in on another U.S. Division crown) versus an immovable object (Beck Warm had a .941 save percentage against the Tips in the regular season, despite a 3-5 series record. In other words: the Tips were very good at dumping shots on Warm. But Warm was very good at stopping them).
The Tips fired so many shots on net that night, they set a new single game franchise record (62). But they had to wait until less than 10 minutes left in regulation to merely tie the game, 1-1. Patience was required. In the last minute of play in regulation, with Tri-City trying to bear down defensively, Connor Dewar slipped a pass to Artyom Minulin, stationed at the blueline. Minulin’s experience enabled him to calmly feather a puck on net, perhaps with Kindopp looming for a rebound (his “office”). It worked. Kindopp snuck around the Americans defense and buried the game winner with 48.6 left, sending a crowd of 6,633 fans into bedlam. The Tips – sensing a possible playoff tune-up – beat the Americans 2-1 to improve to 4-3 in the regular season series.
#6 SEED: Big time save (Wolf), big time goal (Patterson): Occurring earlier in the season on Dec. 8, the Tips recent pick-up of Max Patterson in a trade with Swift Current yielded dividends in another tense rivalry game with the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent. Tied up at 1-1 in the third period, Seattle generated an 3-on-1 rush with the puck on the stick of deadly sniper Andrej Kukuca. Dustin Wolf sprawled the right pad to make the save of the night, and immediately the Tips rushed back the other way at top gear. Max Patterson bursted behind the Thunderbird defense for a forehand deke and game winning breakaway goal, his first as a Silvertip.