Jarret Tyszka overtime goal gives Thunderbirds second straight over Everett
Feb 22, 2019, 11:55 PM | Updated: Feb 23, 2019, 12:49 am
EVERETT – With one point in their pocket the Seattle Thunderbirds were looking for more in overtime Friday night against the Everett Silvertips.
Just under two and a half minutes into the three-on-three overtime period, Matthew Wedman found Seattle defenseman Jaret Tyszka with speed in the neutral zone. The Montreal Canadiens prospect accepted the pass, made one move and flung a wrist shot that beat Everett goalie Dustin Wolf up high.
The Thunderbirds bench raced onto the Angel of the Winds Arena ice to mob Tyszka in the corner as they had earned a critical two points in a 3-2 overtime win over the Silvertips.
“I saw that their third guy was changing so I had open space,” Tyszka said of the play. “I was yelling for it and Weds gave it to me. Their D-Man went for it and I just pulled it away from him and fired it.”
It was Tyszka’s seventh goal of the season as the Thunderbirds won their third straight overtime game and extend their lead over the Kamloops Blazers to four points in the race for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.
Tyszka also picked up an assist in the win and was helped offensively by Andrej Kukuca’s goal and assist while Wedman and Noah Philp each picked up a pair of helpers in the win. The official scorers credited Everett (41-14-2-2) with a 41-30 shot advantage but the Thunderbirds controlled most of the play and kept the sell out crowd of 8,367 on their hands for a majority of the night.
“We talk about it all the time in these types of buildings,” Seattle head coach Matt O’Dette said. “To get that goal and get that momentum going we have to find a way to silence it. You can do that by having some O-Zone shifts and quieting the game down.”
Seattle (24-28-5-1) was looking to take advantage of a Silvertips squad that was playing without its leading scorer, Connor Dewar, and while they had a lot of puck possession, the Thunderbirds still found themselves trailing 2-1 midway through the third period.
With under nine minutes left in the game the Thunderbirds would go to the power play and for the ninth time in the last ten contests, it would cash in.
Friday night it was Kukuca who would fight through a check in the slot, on the power play, to lift a shot over Wolf to tie the game at two. It was Kukuca’s 22nd of the season and his sixth goal over the last six games.
“We just persevered,” O’Dette said. “Kept pushing forward looking for that equalizer and managed to earn a power play in the third. Andrej is Johnny on the spot and found a greasy one.”
Seattle was in position to tie the game thanks to the work of goalie Roddy Ross.
The rookie kicked out 39 Everett bids and improved his season record to 11-4-0-1 as he continues to impress. He was big throughout the game but made his biggest save late in the game with the score tied at two. With just over two minutes left the Silvertips won a face off and Jackson Berezowski got the puck in low by himself. Ross dove and poked the puck off his stick to keep it out of the net and get the Thunderbirds to overtime.
“He was good, made some big timely saves,” O’Dette said. “That’s what you need, timely saves at the right time and he made some great ones.”
The Thunderbirds started the game strong, taking the game’s first five shots but couldn’t capitalize against Wolf. The Everett netminder ended the evening with 27 saves in his second straight loss to Seattle.
Despite Seattle possessing the puck for most of the opening 20 minutes, the Silvertips would take the lead on a late-period goal from defenseman Wyatt Wylie. The Thunderbirds got that goal back at 4:36 of the second when Nolan Volcan ripped a shot for his 20th of the season.
It was the first marker for the Seattle captain since returning from a wrist injury.
“It was kind of nice to get that,” Volcan said of the goal. “It feels like I haven’t scored in forever. I think it’s only been four games or so but it’s nice to get one and get some confidence back.”
Everett went back on top two minutes later when Jalen Price stole the puck deep in the Thunderbirds zone and fired top shelf for his sixth.
Seattle had to kill off two big penalties in the second period which included portions of a five-minute major that was assessed to Cade McNelly for a hit on Martin Fasko-Rudas. The hit also carried a game misconduct while Fasko-Rudas was injured on the play and did not return.
The Thunderbirds also had to kill off a portion of a five-on-three Everett power play during that stretch in the second but were able to survive them both.
“It was kind of a whirlwind there with all the penalties and guys from the power play in the box,” O’Dette said. “A pretty lengthy opportunity for them with the five-on-three but the guys did a good job on that. They’ve had our number a little bit with the power play, but we did a good job.”
The Silvertips would end the night 0-for-2 with the man advantage while the Thunderbirds went 1-for-5.
With a big win in the books against the top team in the Western Conference the Thunderbirds will return home Saturday for another big test against the Portland Winterhawks. After winning three of their last four, they do so with a lot of confidence.
“Every point matters right now and the last two minutes were just step-by-step for us,” Volcan said to sum up the night. “Get it to overtime and get that first point and so on and so forth. It’s frustrating when you’re not scoring but you’ve got to take the positive out of it and realize you’re getting chances and that’s what we did.”
• With the major penalty called on McNelly it most likely means the defenseman will get suspended by the WHL. Simon Kubicek is still not back and O’Dette hinted that the team may recall defenseman Luke Bateman.
• Wedman didn’t find the back of the net Friday which snapped his six-game goal scoring tear but the two assists do extend his point streak to nine games.
• Philp extended his own point streak to eight games with his two helpers on Friday.
• In the first six games between the two Puget Sound rivals, the Thunderbirds only managed eight goals and six losses. The last two games have been a different story as Seattle won both while finding the net seven times.