Monday, November 23, 2009

WHL: Silvertips overpower T-Birds 4-1

(Photo Courtesy: Mick White/Kent Valley Sports)

The Seattle Thunderbirds welcomed the Everett Silvertips to ShoWare Center last night, and the Silvertips made themselves right at home. The first period went by pretty quickly, with a lot of back and forth action, and some great stops by T-Birds goaltender Calvin Pickard and ‘Tips netminder Kent Simpson. Seattle got on the board first, in the final 10 seconds of the period. Everett defenseman Radko Gudas went to the box at 18:33 for tripping and Seattle went on the power play. With 8 seconds left on the clock, Prab Rai connected with Lindsay Nielsen and Jeremy Schappert to score, and the period ended with the T-Birds up 1-0.

The Silvertips took control during the second period and never looked back. At 9:47, Shane Harper found a way past Calvin Pickard. Alex Theriau and Scott McDonald got the assists. Everett scored again less than four minutes later. This time, Tyler Maxwell found the back of the net, with help from Harper and Chris Langkow. The Silvertips went up 3-1 before the second period ended. Harper scored again at 15:39. Maxwell and Langkow were credited with the assists. Tempers started flaring this period as well, although the refs only called 2 penalties, after Everett’s Alex Theriau dropped the gloves and traded punches with T-Bird Chance Lund. Both went to the box to serve 5 minute majors for fighting.

During the third period, Everett skated as though they owned ShoWare Center, and in a sense, they did. They controlled every aspect of the game, while the T-Birds looked as though they had completely lost their focus. Silvertips Center Chris Langkow scored at 3:34, with help from Tyler Maxwell and Drew McDermott. Seattle let their frustrations get the better of them and took a number of penalties. Brendan Dillon was hit with back-to-back penalties about halfway through the period. He had just come out of the box for an interference call, when he was sent right back for boarding. The T-Birds had 2 power play chances late in the third, as Silvertips defenseman Radko Gudas served back to back penalties for hooking and roughing, but it was a case of too little, too late for Seattle, and the game ended with the final score: Everett 4, Seattle 1. The Three Stars of the Game: 1. Shane Harper (Everett), 2. Tyler Maxwell (Everett), 3. Prab Rai (Seattle).

After the game, T-Birds Head Coach Rob Sumner gave the Silvertips much credit, telling radio play by play guy Thom Buening, “They outworked us, they outplayed us. They were the better team tonight.” Sumner said the team will focus on improving play in a number of areas, including special teams. The T-Birds will also be without standout goaltender Calvin Pickard when they face the Regina Pats on Wednesday night (November 25). Pickard has been selected to play for Team WHL in the Subway Super Series in Victoria, BC on November 25 and 26. No word yet whether he’ll be back to backstop the T-Birds when a strong Portland Winterhawks team rolls into ShoWare Center on Friday, November 27.

Everett Silvertips forward Byron Froese has also been selected to represent Team WHL in the tournament. As of this writing, he’s on the roster for the November 25th game in Victoria. To learn more about the Subway Super Series, including full rosters, click here. The Silvertips host the Spokane Chiefs at Comcast Arena Wednesday night. The Chiefs will be without Captain and defenseman Jared Cowen, or forward Levko Koper, are also playing in the Subway Super Series. However, former Silvertip Kyle Beach is now part of the Chiefs lineup, and should receive a warm welcome.

To learn more about the Everett Silvertips, click here. And to keep up with the Seattle Thunderbirds, click here.

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