By Hailey Robinson – Silvertips staff writer
WEEKEND PREVIEW – Tips facing two big US Division opponents
FRIDAY: The Tips will kick off the weekend against the rival Seattle Thunderbirds in the annual Pink the Rink game. The team is partnering with (sponsors) to raise money for the Providence General Foundation in support of breast health activities, mammograms for women, and services and support for men’s and women’s health in Snohomish County, for those facing financial challenges.
“The Pink the Rink game, it’s for a great cause,” Jake Christiansen said. Everyone loves playing in it. It’s awesome in the room. Everyone’s so excited for this game the whole year, looking forward to it, so all the guys will be super excited to play this game and I’m sure it’ll be fun.”
Everett faced Seattle three times in the preseason, with a margin of victory of only one goal each time. Seattle took two games — one in OT and one in a shootout — while Everett ended the final match of the preseason in the normal 60 minutes on a goal from rookie Gage Goncalves.
The Tips always expect a challenge when playing their rivals, and the Pink the Rink event should only bring more energy to an already exciting matchup.
“Seattle’s always a great opponent,” Ian Walker said. “They always bring it 100 percent every night, especially when they play against us.”
SATURDAY: The Tips have met and defeated the Portland Winterhawks twice this year, with a shutout by Wolf in the preseason and a 3-1 win to grab their first W of the regular season. Despite the winning record, though, the Silvertips know this matchup won’t be an easy one. The Hawks are an always tough rival and have benefitted from the return of forward Cody Glass since Everett last saw them on the ice.
“We want to focus on Seattle first, take it one day at a time, but we’re ready for the game against Portland too,” Walker said. “They have Glass back so it’s someone to watch out for, but we definitely know what we need to do next week in order to be successful.”
ALUMNI WATCH — Hart starting the season Lehigh Valley, Juulsen having an impact on Habs blueline
HART: After a strong training camp showing, Tips alum Carter Hart was sent down to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for more development before he makes his first NHL start. The Flyers waited until the end of the preseason to loan Hart to Lehigh Valley, creating speculation over whether Hart would begin his first pro season with the big club, but eventually made the decision to give Hart a chance to see ice time in the AHL rather than sitting on the bench to back up Philadelphia starter Brian Elliot.
Seeing ice time in Allentown will give Hart more time to adjust to the faster pace of professional hockey. A majority of the NHL’s top goaltenders spent some time in the AHL before going on to high profile careers, and that makes the Flyers more confident in the decision to send down Hart.
Philadelphia’s stacked goalie pipeline also added in the Silvertips rivalry with the Seattle Thunderbirds this week when the team picked up Calvin Pickard off waivers. The Phantoms season will start Saturday, Oct. 6 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
JUULSEN: Former Tips captain Noah Juulsen and Mike Reilly made up the Montreal Canadiens second defensive pair as the team opened the season on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Juulsen was expected to play with Victor Mete, another young gun, but pairing him with Reilly was a success for the Habs, despite the loss. Juulsen and Reilly spent some time facing off against the Leafs top line and were fairly successful. Juulsen was on the ice for the second most scoring chance for and had five shot attempts himself, though he didn’t record a shot on goal.
SILVERTIPS PRACTICE QUOTES
Ian Walker on getting the edge on opponents: “Most WHL teams, they have a lot of great players. Basically 90 percent of their thing is the same. The extra ten percent is the details, being in the right spot and in your systems, and that gets you the W in the end of the day.”
Jake Christiansen on the long week of practice: “We’ve had a good few days of practice here. They’ve been hard days, long days, but we’re just preparing for this weekend. It’s great for us because we get an opportunity to improve as players early in the season again… We get a chance to go out after practice and before practice to do another skill set and practice because we have the energy, we have nothing to save it for. Near the end of the week we have smaller practices, so we have some more energy for the games. During the week it’s really important to get those skills in because we have time to do that. This is the time to do that, when you get breaks like this.”
Ian Walker on Pink the Rink: “It’s special. A lot of the young guys haven’t experienced something of this magnitude yet. Obviously, it’s for a great cause and it’s against one of our rivals so it should be a great night. Hopefully the fans are rocking.”
From the Everett Herald:
‘Pink the Rink’ game deeply personal for Tips assistant coach