Seattle starts second half with 2-1 loss to Everett
Everett’s Mitch Skapski looks for room around Evan Wardley during the Silvertips 2-1 win (photo courtesy of Seattle Thunderbirds)
By Andrew Eide
KENT – The Seattle Thunderbirds had hoped that the holiday break might be the elixir to snap their five game losing streak they ended the first half on. Unfortunately the Everett Silvertips did not cooperate and leaned on the 38 saves from Austin Lotz to hand Seattle its sixth straight defeat, 2-1 in front of 5,035 fans at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
After the game, players and coaches were frustrated by the lack of success Friday night.
“I thought we played good today,” Connor Honey said. “Just a couple turnovers or break downs that maybe cost us that second goal, but our defense played really good tonight, we just have to be better.”
Seattle (16-18-1-1) came out of the gates dictating the play and got on the board first when Alex Delnov took a nice pass from Honey and deked Lotz for his 12th on the year. Seattle controlled the play for most of the first period and out shot Everett 14-11 in the frame.
The Silvertips kept grinding however and tied the game in the second period, five minutes in, when Carson Stadnyk deflected a Nick Walter point shot past Brandon Glover. That goal gave the Silvertips some spark as they were able to match the TBirds in shots and chances for much of the night.
“We got a lot of shots blocked,” head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. “Their D did a pretty good job of stepping in front of shots and we missed the net some, at times we didn’t have enough traffic. We’ve got to find a way to get shots through.”
Seattle had a golden opportunity to take control of the game a few minutes later when they were awarded a full minute of two-man advantage on the power play. They were not able to muster too many good chances and allowed Everett (14-22-0-2) to kill them off and build some momentum. On the night Seattle was 0-for-5 with the man advantage and one of the big reasons they ended up losing the game.
“It’s not good enough,” said Honey. “He had a great game though, but those power plays, that five-on-three, we probably have to capitalize on that. We had some really good chances tonight, our top guys have to put more pucks on the net.”
The third period was highlighted by Lotz making some desperation saves to keep the game tied until Everett took the lead at 10:53. Ryan Harrison got the puck behind the net and found a wide open Kohl Bauml in the slot who beat Glover.
Seattle was able to get more pucks on Lotz but was not able to beat Lotz and just as in their last game against Tri-City could only muster one first period goal. In the end the T-Birds were not able to generate enough offense, something that has hurt them during this rough stretch.
“We just have to dig a little deeper,” Konowlachuk said. “Right now we’re going through a tough stretch and you have to pay more of a price to block shots, you have to pay more of a price to win battles, you have to do everything a little harder. We were OK today, but you know when you don’t bring everybody with their ‘A’ game, the game goes down to the wire like that and sometimes you get the breaks sometimes you don’t.”
Seattle will be back at it Saturday night as they have a chance to return the favor to Everett at the Comcast Center starting at 7:00.
Friday’s game marked the return of Branden Troock who centered the fourth line for most of the night. As the game wore on he moved up to play with the Delnov line for a few shifts as well. He looked good at times but late in the game showed some rust and perhaps tried to do too much on his own. When asked about his performance after the game Konowalchuk said it was “OK”.
Taylor Green again played up front Friday night as he joined the Delnov line for the most part and seemed to acquit himself well. He picked up an assist on Seattle’s only goal. This is the third or fourth game in a row that he has played forward.
In the loss the Thunderbirds wasted a fine performance by goalie Brandon Glover who made several big saves throughout the night on route to 28 saves on 30 shots.
The T-Birds called up 2012 first round pick Keegan Kolesar prior to the game but did not dress him.
The T-Birds offense has struggled a bit of late, only scoring four goals in their last three games, all losses.
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