No Al Kinisky with us on-air tonight (Kellan Tochkin will fill in for color analysis), as he holds a day job and part of the requirements are for him to occasionally head forth into the public sphere of business influence, shake hands, and kiss babies.
While Al’s kissing babies, we’ll embrace another juicy Silvertips/Winterhawks matchup. Part of the juice, aside from the fact these are two teams entrenched in a pretty serious rivalry connected with the I-5, is we’ll be seeing Rihards Bukarts again. The Winterhawks nabbed the talented overage forward in a trade yesterday with Brandon in exchange for … drumroll …
… two conditional third round Bantam Draft picks.
Bukarts will debut tonight and wear #9 for the Wintherhawks.
Aside from that, the Carter Hart vs Adin Hill matchup is nearly as good as it gets, early this season. Since the two teams last met on Oct. 23, Hart has a .969 save percentage, one shutout (vs. Seattle, everybody) and a 0.98 save percentage.
Hill is not far behind. Four games: 4-0-0, .965 save percentage, 1.50 goals-against-average.
FIRST INTERMISSION GUEST: James Stucky (Silvertips eqiupment manager, honored tonight for this)
LISTEN LIVE: Classic Country 1520 KXA
The Silvertips conclude a four-game homestand against the Portland Winterhawks in the fourth meeting of the season. Everett is 1-1-0-1 on the homestand and last faced the Winterhawks on Oct. 23, a 2-0 Portland victory at XFINITY Arena. All-time, the Silvertips are 60-54-13 in the series and will next meet the Winterhawks on Sunday in Portland. Devon Skoleski, Patrick Bajkov, Remi Laurencelle and Noah Juulsen each lead the Silvertips with two points in the series. Portland is led by Dominic Turgeon and Rodrigo Abols, who each have three points.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: WATCHING LIKE A WINTERHAWK
The Portland Winterhawks, led by head coach Jamie Kompon (in his second season as head coach), finished second in the U.S. Division last season at 43-23-2-4 and were eliminated in six games by the Kelowna Rockets, the eventual league champion, in the Western Conference Final. The Winterhawks began the season returning a pair of 20-year old forwards, defenseman Blake Heinrich and right winger Alex Schoenborn. Forward Paul Bittner is the returning leading scorer with 71 points in 66 games last season, and forward Olivier Bjorkstrand, who led the league with 118 points in 59 games, is currently in the American Hockey League with the Lake Erie Monsters. Portland has won four consecutive games and is scheduled to debut Rihards Bukarts, acquired in a trade with Brandon on Thursday.
SILVERTIPS HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD: 60-54-13 (overall), 33-23-6 (home)
LAST SILVERTIPS HOME WIN: 2/8/15, 4-3 (OT) (GWG: Carson Stadnyk)
LAST MEETING: 10/23/15 in Everett, 2-0 loss
LAST 3 GAMES:
BDN 3 – EVT 2 (SO) (10/28/15): Carter Hart’s 38 saves helped the Everett Silvertips force overtime against the defending Eastern Conference champions, settling for a 3-2 shootout loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings before a crowd of 3,408 at XFINITY Arena on Wednesday. The Silvertips, buoyed by a two-goal outburst to begin the game, were aided by former Wheat King Dario Winkler’s first career WHL goal in his Silvertips debut. Hart’s counterpart, Logan Thompson, made 20 saves while Braylon Shmyr’s third period goal helped force overtime.
EVT 2 – SEA 0 (10/24/15): Carter Hart made 32 saves for his sixth career shutout and Connor Dewar added a goal and an assist to lead the Everett Silvertips (5-3-0-0, 10 points) to a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds before a crowd of 7,311 at XFINITY Arena on Saturday. The Silvertips earned their third win in four home games, and snapped Seattle’s six-game winning streak. Lucas Skrumeda added a second period goal, while Hart’s shutout was his second of the season, following up a 25-save effort last night against Portland. He improved to 3-0 in three lifetime appearances against the Thunderbirds.
POR 2 – EVT 0 (10/23/15): Adin Hill recorded 31 saves for his second shutout of the season, lifting the Portland Winterhawks over the Everett Silvertips, 2-0 before 3,623 fans at XFINITY Arena on Friday. The Silvertips, who entered tonight with the least amount of games played in the WHL this season (and played just four times in the last 26 days), dropped their second straight loss despite a 25 save effort from Carter Hart.
- Remi Laurencelle played in his 200th career WHL game on Wednesday
- Dawson Leedahl is 17 games away from 100 in his WHL and Silvertips career
- Patrick Bajkov is 30 points away from 100 in his WHL career
STUCKY CELEBRATES A MILESTONE:
Silvertips equipment manager James Stucky worked the 1,500th game in his career on Wednesday. The native of Burien, Wash. has served the Silvertips in his capacity since the inception of the franchise in 2003, having previously worked in the American Hockey League with Cincinnati, in the IHL with Indianapolis and in the CHL with Memphis from 1995-2003.
LOVE CONQUERS ALL, AND WITH TEAM CANADA
Silvertips assistant coach Mitch Love, absent from the team this week, is currently serving Hockey Canada as assistant coach for the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Oct. 30-Nov. 7 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. Love is working with high-ranked players born in 1999 or later, eligible to compete for Canada with the National Men’s U-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.
ABSOLUTE POWER (PLAY)
The Silvertips power play ranks third in the ECHL at 29.0 percent (9-of-31) and went 1-of-2 on Wednesday against the Brandon Wheat Kings … Everett’s power play leads the WHL in home percentage at 41.2 percent (7-of-17) … Carson Stadnyk’s power play goal (2nd) gave the Silvertips a 1-0 lead over Brandon on Oct. 28 … Patrick Bajkov and Noah Juulsen lead the Silvertips power play with four points each … a total of 12 Silvertips players, including goaltender Carter Hart, have registered at least one power play point this season.
HART OF STONE
Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart, entering his second full season of play in the WHL, ranks among the league’s leaders in several goaltending categories since beginning his career with the Silvertips. Entering today, Hart leads the WHL in goals-against-average for the last two seasons.
WHL GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE LEADERS*, SINCE START OF 2014-15 SEASON:
* Minimum 500 minutes played
BRETT KEMP (F): selected by the Silvertips in the second round (41st overall) in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. Kemp, 15, was selected to Team Saskatchewan for the 2015 Western Conference U16 Challenge Cup, which started Wednesday (Kemp had an assist) in Calgary. Kemp was selected among the highest-rated players in the Under-16 category representing the four Western Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Kemp was third in his league’s scoring last season with the Yorkton Terriers (Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League) with 79 points (37g-42a) in 30 games.