Broadcast Notes: Tips vs Tri-City (1/15)

Good Monday to you from downtown Everett; the Silvertips can take over first place again in the U.S. Division with at least one standings point.

We’re on air at 3:30pm on Fox Sports 1380 / FM 95.3.

AUDIO STREAMRadio (1380 AM) / Tips App, too

ON THE BROADCAST: (pregame at 3:30pm) 

  • Pregame: Bryce Kindopp, Dennis Williams
  • 1st Intermission: Walter Jones (Seattle Seahawks)
  • 2nd Intermission: we answer your questions from the Tips App (go to “Tips Talk” and submit there!)

TOP 5 TIPS TIDBITS

  • TORRID TIPS: The Tips are 23-6-0-1 in the last 30 games and finished 10-2-0-0 in the month of December … they have won 17 of the last 20 games … Patrick Bajkov led the Silvertips with 18 points and six goals in 12 games during the month.
  • GOALTENDING GOT HART: Tips goaltender Carter Hart, named Player of the Game in the championship victory over Sweden, returns to the Silvertips after capturing the gold medal with Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo … Hart went 5-0-0-1 in six games, totaling a 1.64 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage in the tourney … he returns as the WHL leader in GAA (1.44), save percentage (.957), tied for 1st in shutouts (5), and is 15-3-0-1 in 19 games.
  • HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF: 2001-born goaltender Dustin Wolf had seven wins in his first ten appearances … he earned his third shutout of the season on Wednesday vs. Tri-City (29 saves) … he was named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Oct. 30 … he was 5-2-0-0 with a 2.01 GAA, two shutouts, and .933 save pct. in December.
  • NOT STANDING PAT: Patrick Bajkov, the leading Tips scorer, had a career high 5 points last Sunday vs Victoria … his 65 points in 45 games rank seventh in league scoring after the Tips last victory … he is 8 points away from tying the Silvertips all-time points record, held by Zach Hamill.
  • SPECIAL DELIVERIES: For the Silvertips special teams, the penalty kill is 1st in the WHL (85.5) … the Tips power play went 5-of-9 last Sunday vs. Victoria, tying a franchise record for most power play goals in one game (5) … they are 10-of-23 in the last four games … Matt Fonteyne leads the Silvertips with 13 power play goals.   

 

ON THIS DATE  

JANUARY 15, 2011: Tyler Maxwell tied the franchise record for most goals in a game with four against the Seattle Thunderbirds, and the Silvertips defeated Seattle, 6-5 before a sellout crowd of 8,344 … the Silvertips raced out to a 3-0 lead … Maxwell finished with 5 points in the game … the Tips debuted Ryan Harrison (two goals, two assists), acquired in a trade with Medicine Hat.

 

See you on the radio!

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Broadcast Notes: Tips at Portland (1/14)


Condensed day with condensed preparations as we get set for the Tips and Portland Winterhawks, 8th edition (out of 10). It’s obvious that the theme for today is control of the top – just one point separates the two teams for first place in the U.S. Division. We’re getting into the part of the season now where you’ll often hear the words, “chase,” “hunt,” “preview,” etc.

Welcome to second half hockey.

It welcomed Garrett Pilon with open arms last night in Tips colors, notching his 2nd career hat trick. He could have had five goals last night: one miss on a back door one timer and another hit crossbar in the first and third period were the reasons why.

Pretty safe to say his line, with fellow wing Connor Dewar and center Riley Sutter, were a  menace last night.

AUDIO STREAMRadio (1380 AM) / Tips App, too

ON THE BROADCAST: (pregame at 4:30pm) 

  • Pregame: Bryce Kindopp, Dennis Williams
  • 1st Intermission: Jake Christiansen
  • 2nd Intermission: we answer your questions from the Tips App (go to “Tips Talk” and submit there!)

 

TOP 5 TIPS TIDBITS

  • TORRID TIPS: The Tips are 22-6-0-1 in the last 29 games and finished 10-2-0-0 in the month of December … they have won 16 of the last 19 games … Patrick Bajkov led the Silvertips with 18 points and six goals in 12 games during the month.
  • GOALTENDING GOT HART: Tips goaltender Carter Hart, named Player of the Game in the championship victory over Sweden, returns to the Silvertips after capturing the gold medal with Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo … Hart went 5-0-0-1 in six games, totaling a 1.64 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage in the tourney … he returns as the WHL leader in GAA (1.32), save percentage (.961), shutouts (5), and is 13-3-0-1 in 17 games.
  • HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF: 2001-born goaltender Dustin Wolf had seven wins in his first ten appearances … he earned his third shutout of the season on Wednesday vs. Tri-City (29 saves) … he was named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Oct. 30 … he was 5-2-0-0 with a 2.01 GAA, two shutouts, and .933 save pct. in December.
  • NOT STANDING PAT: Patrick Bajkov, the leading Tips scorer, had a career high 5 points on Sunday vs Victoria … his 63 points in 44 games rank ninth in league scoring after the Tips last victory … he is 10 points away from tying the Silvertips all-time points record, held by Zach Hamill.
  • SPECIAL DELIVERIES: For the Silvertips special teams, the penalty kill is 1st in the WHL (85.6) … the Tips power play went 5-of-9 on Sunday vs. Victoria, tying a franchise record for most power play goals in one game (5) … they are 8-of-17 in the last three games … Matt Fonteyne leads the Silvertips with 12 power play goals.   

 

ON THIS DATE  

JANUARY 14, 2006: One day after Peter Mueller’s natural hat trick, John Lammers notched his second hat trick of the season (8th in Tips history) as the Silvertips defeated Vancouver, 4-2 at Pacific Coliseum … the final two goals by Lammers helped the Tips rally from a 2-1 deficit in the third period.

RECORD WATCH: Patrick Bajkov is within 10 points of Zach Hamill’s all-time scoring record… Carter Hart is two shutouts within Tyson Sexsmith’s all-time shutout record (WHL). 

See you on the radio.

Broadcast Notes: Tips at Spokane (1/13)

Tonight will be the fifth time the Tips see the Spokane Chiefs this season – they’ll get used to each other with 10 games on the slate together. This season, the Tips bring in a 2-2-0-0 record and are seeking their first win at Spokane Arena since last season, in March.

The roster underwent a considerable tweak. The trade deadline is in the rear view mirror, and it now brings in since last Sunday:

  • Garrett Pilon (from Kamloops)
  • Ondrej Vala (from Kamloops)
  • Spencer Gerth (back from Victoria)
  • Bronson Sharp (from Portland)

Oh, and some guy you heard of: Carter Hart, back with the Tips since taking the last month to win a pretty shiny, snazzy new medal at the World Juniors for Team Canada. He was kind of a big deal last Friday.

Even with a month’s absence, he still the WHL leader in shutouts, save percentage, and goals-against-average. He’s 13-3-0-1 this season. Just two more bagels will tie Tyson Sexsmith’s league record (26 shutouts).

Another milestone alert: Patrick Bajkov needs just 7 goals to tie Shane Harper for the Tips record, and 11 points to tie Zach Hamill’s all-time record for points in a Tips sweater.

That, plus the Tips are one point out of the U.S. Division lead. Strap in for potentially exciting hockey ahead.

AUDIO STREAMRadio (1380 AM) / Tips App, too

ON THE BROADCAST: (pregame at 6:30pm) 

  • Pregame: Spencer Gerth, Carter Hart
  • 1st Intermission: WHL This Week – trade deadline wrap-up
  • 2nd Intermission: we answer your questions from the Tips App (go to “Tips Talk” and submit there!)

 

TOP 5 TIPS TIDBITS

  • TORRID TIPS: The Tips are 21-6-0-1 in the last 29 games and finished 10-2-0-0 in the month of December … they have won 15 of the last 18 games … Patrick Bajkov led the Silvertips with 18 points and six goals in 12 games during the month.
  • GOALTENDING GOT HART: Tips goaltender Carter Hart, named Player of the Game in the championship victory over Sweden, returns to the Silvertips after capturing the gold medal with Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo … Hart went 5-0-0-1 in six games, totaling a 1.64 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage in the tourney … he returns as the WHL leader in GAA (1.32), save percentage (.961), shutouts (5), and is 13-3-0-1 in 17 games.
  • HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF: 2001-born goaltender Dustin Wolf had seven wins in his first ten appearances … he earned his third shutout of the season on Wednesday vs. Tri-City (29 saves) … he was named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Oct. 30 … he was 5-2-0-0 with a 2.01 GAA, two shutouts, and .933 save pct. in December.
  • NOT STANDING PAT: Patrick Bajkov, the leading Tips scorer, had a career high 5 points on Sunday vs Victoria … his 62 points in 43 games rank tied for seventh in league scoring after the Tips last victory.
  • SPECIAL DELIVERIES: For the Silvertips special teams, the penalty kill is 1st in the WHL (85.0) … the Tips power play went 5-of-9 on Sunday vs. Victoria, tying a franchise record for most power play goals in one game (5) … they went 1-of-4 on Wednesday vs. Tri-City … Matt Fonteyne leads the Silvertips with 12 power play goals.   

 

See you on the radio.

Broadcast Notes: Tips vs. Victoria (1/7)


Condensed day, condensed preparations.

The Tips are aiming to bounce back from their first set of back to back losses since mid-November.

Three games in three days. Let’s get to it.

AUDIO STREAMRadio (1380 AM) / Tips App, too

ON THE BROADCAST: (pregame at 3:30pm) 

  • Pregame: Patrick Bajkov
  • 1st Intermission: WHL This Week interview – Tips GM Garry Davidson
  • 2nd Intermission: we answer your questions from the Tips App (go to “Tips Talk” and submit there!)

 

TOP 5 TIPS TIDBITS

  • TORRID TIPS: The Tips are 19-6-0-1 in the last 27 games and finished 10-2-0-0 in the month of December … they have won 13 of the last 16 games … seven different Silvertips registered game winning goals in December … Patrick Bajkov led the Silvertips with 18 points and six goals in 12 games during the month.
  • HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF: 2001-born goaltender Dustin Wolf had seven wins in his first ten appearances … his first career shutout (31 saves) came on Dec. 16 vs. Prince George in a 4-0 win and he followed up with 24 saves on Dec. 27 (11-0 over VAN) in his 2nd career shutout … he was named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Oct. 30 … he was 5-2-0-0 with a 2.01 GAA, two shutouts, and .933 save pct. in December.
  • SUTTER TOUGH: Riley Sutter had his first career hat trick and tied a Tips record for goals in a game (4) on Dec. 27 at Vancouver … he has 11 points in his last 5 games.
  • SPECIAL DELIVERIES: For the Silvertips special teams, the penalty kill is 1st in the WHL (85.7) … the Tips power play went 3-of-5 last night vs. Portland … Matt Fonteyne leads the Silvertips with nine power play goals.   
  • C. BEAT: The Silvertips have a record this season of 9-2-0-1 against teams from the B.C. Division … their last win against a B.C. division opponent was Dec. 30, in a 5-2 victory over Kamloops in downtown Everett.

 

TIPS GONE GOLD

WHERE’S CARTER HART: Captured the gold medal with Hockey Canada in his second straight appearance at the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament in Buffalo, N.Y. … Canada faced the United States on Dec. 29 at NewEra Field in Buffalo for the outdoor game of the event and Hart was named Player of the Game with 32 saves … his 35 saves led to Player of the Game honors in the gold medal victory on Jan. 5 against Sweden (3-1 victory) … his eight wins have tied Canada’s all-time record at the World Juniors with Jimmy Waite and Stephane Fiset … Hart went 5-0-0-1 in the tournament with a 1.64 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage.

We’re told he will return in a few days, and is home with family in Sherwood Park, Alberta.

 

 

See you on the radio!

Broadcast Notes: Tips vs. PDX (1/6)


Happy New Year to you, with the first home game of 2018 right around the corner and the Silvertips fresh off the bus from Victoria (5-0 loss). Portland drove over the pass after a 9-3 loss in Spokane. No advantage in the category of fatigue.

AUDIO STREAMRadio (1380 AM) / Tips App, too

ON THE BROADCAST:

  • Pregame: Jake Christiansen, Dennis Williams
  • 1st Intermission: Alumnus Brian King
  • 2nd Intermission: we answer your questions from the Tips App (go to “Tips Talk” and submit there!)

SUMMARY: 

You’ll have games like a 5-0 variety when you play through the course of a 72-game season. The Tips’ goal is to put it behind them mentally and be prepared for a U.S. Division battle (1st vs 2nd, one point apart!) after a condensed day due to travel.

Here’s everything you need to know:

TOP 5 TIPS TIDBITS

  • TORRID TIPS: The Tips are 19-6-0-1 in the last 26 games and finished 10-2-0-0 in the month of December … they have won 13 of the last 15 games … seven different Silvertips registered game winning goals in December … Patrick Bajkov led the Silvertips with 18 points and six goals in 12 games during the month.
  • HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF: 2001-born goaltender Dustin Wolf had seven wins in his first ten appearances … his first career shutout (31 saves) came on Dec. 16 vs. Prince George in a 4-0 win and he followed up with 24 saves on Dec. 27 (11-0 over VAN) in his 2nd career shutout … he was named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Oct. 30 … he was 5-2-0-0 with a 2.01 GAA, two shutouts, and .933 save pct. in December.
  • SUTTER TOUGH: Riley Sutter had his first career hat trick and tied a Tips record for goals in a game (4) on Dec. 27 at Vancouver … he has 11 points in his last 5 games.
  • SPECIAL DELIVERIES: For the Silvertips special teams, the penalty kill is 1st in the WHL (86.3) … the Tips power play went 2-of-5 on Dec. 31 vs. Kamloops … Riley Sutter, Connor Dewar and Matt Fonteyne each lead the Silvertips with seven power play goals.  
  • DIVISION TOUGH: The Silvertips have won seven of the last eight meetings against opponents from the U.S. Division … the Tips record against the division rivals is 10-7-1-0 … they last faced Portland in a division matchup on Dec. 17, in an 8-3 victory.

“HEY! WHERE’S CARTER HART?”: Well, we’re glad you asked … he only set the hockey world on fire last night and brings a gold medal home to Everett soon … he seized the gold medal with Hockey Canada in his second straight appearance at the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament in Buffalo, N.Y. … Canada faced the United States on Dec. 29 at NewEra Field in Buffalo for the outdoor game of the event and Hart was named Player of the Game with 32 saves … his 35 saves led to Player of the Game honors in the gold medal victory last night against Sweden (3-1 victory) … his eight wins have tied Canada’s all-time record at the World Juniors with Jimmy Waite and Stephane Fiset … Hart went 5-0-0-1 in the tournament with a 1.64 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage.

See you on the radio!

Broadcast Notes: Tips vs. KAM (12/30)


No time to dwell on last night’s 2-1 Tips loss to the Vancouver Giants. The clean slate mentality began as soon as the Tips arrived today in downtown Everett for game day activities.

Up next: Kamloops, winless in their last 3 games after being blanked, 3-0 by Kelowna last night and then having to make a drive through the pass and across the U.S. border. The Tips are 2-0-0-0 this season against the Blazers, with both games in Kamloops. Head coach Don Hay is six victories away from catching Ken Hodge for the WHL all-time coaching wins record.

ON THE BROADCAST:

  • Pregame: Bryce Kindopp, Dennis Williams
  • 1st Intermission: Tips education coordinator Darren Parsons, who reflects on the 31st anniversary of the tragic Swift Current Broncos bus crash (Parsons was a defenseman with the Regina Pats that season, who were awaiting the Broncos in Regina that night. When head coach Doug Sauter and a local priest entered the room, everyone knew something was extremely wrong.)
  • 2nd Intermission: we answer your questions from the Tips App (go to “Tips Talk” and submit there!)

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: 

Third of four meetings with the Kamloops Blazers … the Silvertips own a 34-17-4-4 record, all-time vs. Kamloops … they were 2-1-0-1 last season and outscored the Blazers, 9-8 head-to-head … the Silvertips have won 9 of the last 11 games heading into tonight’s game … Connor Dewar leads the Tips in the series with four points in two games … goaltenders Dustin Wolf and Carter Hart each have a win this season against the Blazers.

TOP 5 TIPS TIDBITS

  • TORRID TIPS: The Tips are 18-5-0-1 in the last 24 games and are 9-2-0-0 in the month of December … they have won 12 of the last 14 games … six different Silvertips have registered game winning goals in December … Patrick Bajkov leads the Silvertips with 18 points and six goals in 11 games during the month.
  • HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF: 2001-born goaltender Dustin Wolf has six wins in his first nine appearances … his first career shutout (31 saves) came on Dec. 16 vs. Prince George in a 4-0 win and he followed up with 24 saves on Dec. 27 (11-0 over VAN) in his 2nd career shutout … he was named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Oct. 30 … he is 4-2-0-0 with a 2.11 GAA, two shutouts, and .932 save pct. in December.
  • SUTTER TOUGH: Riley Sutter had his first career hat trick and tied a Tips record for goals in a game (4) on Dec. 27 at Vancouver … he has 10 points in his last 4 games.
  • SPECIAL DELIVERIES: For the Silvertips special teams, the penalty kill is 1st in the WHL (86.3) … Connor Dewar and Matt Fonteyne each lead the Silvertips with seven power play goals.  
  • HALF WAY POLE: The Silvertips reached the 20-win plateau through 36 games for the fifth straight season … their 44 points, under head coach Dennis Williams, was the second highest point total in franchise history at the 36-game mark under any first year Tips head coach (Kevin Constantine, 48 points in 2013-14, first season of his second stint).

 

See you on the radio, 6:30pm with Justin Morrison on Fox Sports 1380 / FM 95.3 / Tips App.

Broadcast Notes: Tips vs. VAN (12/29)


Two days after the Everett Silvertips dropped 11 goals on the Vancouver Giants in Langley, the two teams meet again for the first Tips home game out of the holiday break. You might be wise to guess the Tips will see a “different” Vancouver team (see The Herald link below) this time, and a betting man would not put money on another blowout.

AUDIO STREAMRadio (1380 AM) / Tips App, too

ON THE BROADCAST:

  • Pregame: Riley Sutter, Dennis Williams
  • 1st Intermission: Tips prospect Ryan Robinson (currently with the Dallas Stars 16U club)
  • 2nd Intermission: we answer your questions from the Tips App (go to “Tips Talk” and submit there!)

SUMMARY: 

As the Tips have played torrid hockey since a little before Halloween (winners in 18 of 23), they get a rematch with the Giants who won 8 of 9 and 6 in a row before Wednesday night’s game.

Here’s everything you need to know:

  • TOP 5 TIPS TIDBITS
    • TORRID TIPS: The Tips are 18-4-0-1 in the last 23 games and are 9-1-0-0 in the month of December … they have won 12 of the last 13 games … six different Silvertips have registered game winning goals in December … Patrick Bajkov leads the Silvertips with 17 points and six goals in 10 games during the month.
    • HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF: 2001-born goaltender Dustin Wolf has six wins in his first eight appearances … his first career shutout (31 saves) came on Dec. 16 vs. Prince George in a 4-0 win and he followed up with 24 saves on Dec. 27 (11-0 over VAN) in his 2nd career shutout … he was named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Oct. 30 … he is 4-1-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA, two shutouts, and .934 save pct. in December.
    • SUTTER TOUGH: Riley Sutter had his first career hat trick and tied a Tips record for goals in a game (4) on Dec. 27 at Vancouver … he has 10 points in his last 3 games.
    • SPECIAL DELIVERIES: For the Silvertips special teams, the penalty kill is 1st in the WHL (86.3) … Connor Dewar and Matt Fontene each lead the Silvertips with seven power play goals.  
    • HALF WAY POLE: The Silvertips reached the 20-win plateau through 36 games for the fifth straight season … their 44 points, under head coach Dennis Williams, was the second highest point total in franchise history at the 36-game mark under any first year Tips head coach (Kevin Constantine, 48 points in 2013-14, first season of his second stint).

“HEY! WHERE’S CARTER HART?”: If you haven’t been following, he left in the middle of December to join Hockey Canada and is now with the program for the second straight winter at the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament in Buffalo, N.Y. … started Canada’s tourney opening win, 4-2 over Finland on Dec. 26 (29 saves) … Canada faces the United States today at NewEra Field in Buffalo for the outdoor game of the event (12pm PT, NHL Network/TSN).

ESSENTIAL READING: 

Update: the Tips have added D Jordan Hendry as a listed player. He’s in the tourney as well (West Valley/BCMML). 

 

See you on the radio!

STATS! The Tips Record Setting Night


With one more day to enjoy an 11-0 win from last night in Langley, then put it behind them once the puck drops for a 1pm practice in downtown Everett, the Everett Silvertips entered Thursday saturated with season highs, tied records, and outright franchise records.

We’ve romanticized over the names of Peter Mueller, Shane Harper, Tyler Maxwell, etc. for a long time. On Wednesday evening, the 2017-18 Everett Silvertips joined them in the record books on a collective effort.

If you’re wondering where last night stood in Tips history:

  • MOST GOALS (game): 11, broke the record set in 2009-10 (last, Oct. 11, 2009 vs POR)
  • MOST GOALS (period): 5, tied the record last set 11 days ago vs. POR
  • LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY: 11, broke the record set in 2006-07 (9, Jan. 26, 2007 vs POR)
  • MOST GOALS (game, one player): 4, Riley Sutter, tied record (last set in 2015-16, Remi Laurencelle vs. Spokane on Dec. 16)

If you’re wondering how close the Tips came:

  • TO MOST POINTS BY A PLAYER: 2, Sutter and Connor Dewar (2g-3a) needed those to tie Zach Hamill and Dan Gendur’s shared record of 7 in a game, both set Jan. 26, 2007 vs POR.
  • TO FASTEST 3 GOALS: 2:05 (they needed to do it quicker in that time frame, saying this tongue-in-cheek). They blasted 3 goals in 3:28 to run away with the game in the second period on Wednesday night (Sutter, Richards, Centazzo) and build a 7-0 lead. The Tips got 3 goals in 1:23 last season by Dominic Zwerger, Eetu Tuulola, and Kevin Davis on Nov. 15 vs. Calgary.
  • TO THE LEAGUE RECORD FOR GOALS IN A GAME: 8 goals. Believe it or not, they barely got past halfway there. Spokane (the Ray Whitney & Pat Falloon team) and Medicine Hat (the Mark Lamb & Murray Craven team) each buried a whopping 19 goals to set the league record, 90-91 and 83-84 respectively.
  • TO THE LEAGUE RECORD FOR GOALS IN A PERIOD: 6 goals. They needed 11 alone in a 20-minute frame to tie the record set by the Kamloops Blazers on February 7, 1992, in a 13-1 win over the Tacoma Rockets. The Estevan Bruins originally set the mark on January 22, 1967, in a save-optional, grind-it-out 18-2 win over the Calgary Buffaloes.

Bottom line: it’s hard to score goals. What the Everett Silvertips did Wednesday night was nothing short of remarkable.

Now it’s onto Friday night, when they get Vancouver again in downtown Everett.

Award winning broadcaster Mike Benton recently is in his third season as radio play-by-play voice of the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, and 13th in the game.  Tweet at him here.

Broadcast Notes: Tips at VAN (12/27)


Tonight the Tips visit Langley Events Centre (it’s a terrific building, but I still miss the Pacific Coliseum) for the second matchup against the Giants.

AUDIO STREAMRadio (1380 AM) / Tips App, too

ON THE BROADCAST:

  • Pregame: Matt Fonteyne, head coach Dennis Williams
  • 1st Intermission: Kevin Davis
  • 2nd Intermission: your comments/questions (submit on the app, “Tips Talk!”)

SUMMARY: 

It’s a battle between unstoppable force (Tips have won 10 of 11 and 17 of 22 to seize first place) and immovable object (Giants have won 8 of 9 to reach within 3 points of first in the B.C. Division).

Here’s everything you need to know:

  • TORRID TIPS: The Tips are 17-4-0-1 in the last 22 games and are 8-1-0-0 in the month of December … they have won 11 of the last 12 games … six different Silvertips have registered game winning goals in December … Patrick Bajkov leads the Silvertips with 14 points and six goals in 9 games during the month.
  • HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF: 2001-born goaltender Dustin Wolf has five wins in his first seven appearances … his first career shutout (31 saves) came on Dec. 16 vs. Prince George in a 4-0 win … he was named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Oct. 30 … he is 3-1-0-0 with a 2.50 GAA, one shutout, and .922 save pct. in December.
  • DAY-BY-DAVIS: Kevin Davis, in his overage season, is tied for seventh among WHL defensemen with 32 points in 35 games … he became the fourth player in Tips history to suit up in 300 games on Nov. 22 at Tri-City … Davis has 14 points in the last 16 games.
  • SPECIAL DELIVERIES: For the Silvertips special teams, the penalty kill is 1st in the WHL (86.1) … Connor Dewar leads the Silvertips with seven power play goals.  
  • HALF WAY POLE: The Silvertips reached the 20-win plateau through 36 games for the fifth straight season … their 44 points, under head coach Dennis Williams, is the second highest point total in franchise history at the 36-game mark under any first year Tips head coach (Kevin Constantine, 48 points in 2013-14, first season of his second stint).

“HEY! WHERE’S CARTER HART?”: If you haven’t been following, he left in the middle of December to join Hockey Canada and is now with the program for the second straight winter at the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament in Buffalo, N.Y. … started Canada’s tourney opening win, 4-2 over Finland on Dec. 26 (29 saves).

ESSENTIAL READING: 

 

See you on the radio!

And Then There Were Four (with Thank Yous)

Let me tell you a story about the most stressful month of my career. Maybe, my life.

It began with uncertainty and unpredictability, and ended with euphoria.

And an addition to our family.

Starting mid-November, the Silvertips were set for a two-game road trip against the Prince George Cougars, a destination nine-and-a-half hours away from Everett – not just where the Silvertips play, but also the residence of (what was) my family of three – including my wife, nearly full-term pregnant. As it was her second pregnancy, medical expertise suggested our baby boy to be would possibly come early.

Six hours into the trip (we stopped in Kamloops, overnight, en route to Prince George), my wife begins feeling contractions.

She asked me home, anticipating possible labor. Home I went.

No labor.

We went through the next week with four games in five days, phone and back-up announcers ready.

No labor.

The week of Thanksgiving was beyond unpredictable. I stayed home from Tri-City with the pass presenting treacherous conditions (and 3.5 hours of a return drive – minimum – risking my return too late for our son’s birth). Then on Friday vs. Spokane, Amy was admitted to the hospital with a medical emergency – another condition that likely accelerates labor.

No labor.

Saturday vs. Vancouver: maybe the scariest day of my life.

(No labor, either).

Without presenting the details to ensure the privacy of my firstborn son down the road, a serious medical emergency pulled me away from game preparation at 12:15pm. Lukas needed to go to the hospital, and he needed all of us there, within the family. One check-out at 3:30 pm sent him home after the scare. Another check-in was necessary at 7:05pm at Providence Medical Center, and we finally went home for good at 10:00pm – just over the same length it took for the Tips to defeat Vancouver, 5-2.

We reached Amy’s due date this past Tuesday, the same night as the Silveritps Hockey Show.

No labor.

The next day was our preferred induction date, but then were told by medical professionals that labor inducing needed to wait until Monday, Dec. 4 unless Amy was thrown into another serious medical condition.

Well, we didn’t have to wait long though. It was finally “go time” on Thursday morning.

Labor.

Upon check-in at Providence Medical Center, Liam safely entered the world.

We could prepare for so much that would surround the big day, but the journey there was nearly unpredictable. This is where “life happens.”

My passion for the broadcast booth and the nightly enjoyment of Silvertips fans wanted me in there each and every game, but in a world where many of us live by the mantra “family first,” I needed to be there as a Dad – first and foremost.

That’s why as the Benton clan has grown to four, I couldn’t get back into the broadcast booth, full swing without giving big thank yous:

  • Dan Todoroff: Tips in-arena emcee, and day-job as director of operations, for taking on the brave task of two games filling in for play-by-play – and two more in a color analysis role.
  • Dave Sheldon: The former full-time Tips color analyst, and Chilliwack radio voice, for filling in the two games at Prince George when we had a false alarm. He’s a pro.
  • Countless members of the front office: Katrina Koontz, Nicole Proulx, Joel Anderson, Sarah Roetcisoender, Kelsie Noble, Zack Bradford, Staci C. to start. In the light of an absence from work, they were willing and embracing of the possibility to help fill in the gaps behind the scenes.
  • Zoran Rajcic: Our fearless boss, who communicates the importance of “family first,” and allows people to focus on those responsibilities when the needs arise. He demonstrated incredible patience and heartwarming empathy. He’s a tremendous boss.
  • Extended family: Grandfather Bob VanderWal, Grandmother Lavonne VanderWal, Brother-In-Law Jason VanderWal – for agreeing to move the arrival date up a few days from California to help with the final stages of pregnancy and family responsibilities attached to the big event.
  • The Team: For the congratulations, asking with interest how the baby and Mom were doing, and even an appreciated invite to bowling. It helped take the mind off a lot of things.
  • You, dear listener: For being flexible when I projected a return to the booth after absence, and it stayed in a continuous “day-to-day” status.
  • Lastly: my wife, Amy … she’s a warrior (no epidural for either delivery), she’s understanding of my responsibilities, and she’s not afraid to ask when she needs the extra help.

Thanks for keeping your ear to the dial with the names above helping fill the gaps, and for your patience with my return to the booth. I was thrilled to be back for Teddy Bear Toss – the 999th game behind the hockey mic in my career.

(#1,000 will be Wednesday night vs. Portland.)

More importantly – family is happy and healthy. The tears of joy that flooded my face when Liam arrived felt like the size of Puget Sound.

About the little guy? He’s strong, a tad quieter than Lukas, but already has Mom and Dad in his physical features.

Can’t wait to bring Amy, Lukas, and Liam to a game near you.

Award winning broadcaster Mike Benton recently is in his third season as radio play-by-play voice of the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, and 13th in the game.  Tweet at him here.