Postgame: 10/30 vs. Portland

Below, your audio archive from tonight’s broadcast.

LISTEN: Pregame, intermission segments vs. Portland (10/30) 

If you care to rehash with us in our postgame segment, it’ll be available by Sunday – we’re making progress with conquering technical issues (I guess that leaves us admitting a tough one, on and off the ice) related to uploading the beloved mp3 file.

Tonight was a toughie to swallow. The takeaways:

  1. Credit due to Portland. There’s arguably not a hotter goalie in the CHL than Adin Hill at this point, and the Tips had scratch and claw for just one goal tonight. In Portland’s five-game win streak (Hill’s played every minute), he’s got a microscopic 1.40 GAA and .966 save percentage. He had to be at the top of his game to get a win with 38 saves.
  2. This game was decided on special teams. Yes, the Tips had a 1-0 lead after two periods. And yes, it’s a tad disconcerting they’ve fallen short of seizing two points for the second straight game, when holding a lead with 20 minutes to go. But when you have six power plays, including a five-on-three lasting longer than the time it takes to microwave leftovers, you better cash in. Portland got out of the woods, and made the most on their late-game opportunity.
  3. Remember the old saying, “Together Everyone Achieves More (T.E.A.M.)”? We’re realizing that this season will showcase wins full of grit, grisle, elbow grease and the like. Scores of 3-2 and 2-1 will (and really, should) be the norm. My recollection of the second period illustrates the Silvertips rolling four lines and attacking Portland like a pack of wolves – anyone in a white jersey had very little space on the ice to operate, and anyone in a white jersey with the puck was immediately greeted with a green sheath. Everything, once in the Portland zone, was rocketed toward Hill. It’s a simplistic concept. But it needs to be the Silvertips maxim for the entire year. Defense, grit, and a dash of Carter Hart.

Off-day on Saturday (first time I can partake in Halloween as “Dad” – beware of impending, self-incriminating photo), and back for another swing at the piñata on Sunday.

PRESS MEAL: Fried chicken, cole slaw, tater tots, chicken fingers.

LASTING IMAGE: Sometimes to beat a hot goalie, you have to reach higher. Remi Laurencelle seems to have the right idea.

We May Use This On The Air! 10/30 vs Portland

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.

ON-AIR: 7:00pm
FIRST INTERMISSION GUEST: James Stucky (Silvertips eqiupment manager, honored tonight for this)
LISTEN LIVE: Classic Country 1520 KXA 

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP
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.

MILESTONE TRACKER

  • 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:

RANK PLAYER TEAM GAA SV W L OTL SOL
1 Carter Hart EVT 2.37 1379 30 13 0 5
2 Jake Morrissey VAN 2.45 366 8 4 0 0
3 Logan Flodell SEA 2.48 427 8 5 0 1
4 Taran Kozun SEA 2.50 1687 35 21 0 5
5 Michael Herringer KEL 2.54 604 19 4 0 0

* Minimum 500 minutes played

PROSPECT UPDATE
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.

Postgame: 10/28 vs. Brandon (3-2 shootout loss)

NHL stars, Mitch Love dipping into the Hockey Canada waters, and more in the pregame chat – give the Silvertips credit, who handled the Brandon Wheat Kings just fine with respects to the end of their road trip (paraphrasing Kevin Constantine as a horse getting a second wind for the final stretch of a road trip).

LISTEN: Kevin Constantine pregame (10/28 vs Brandon)
VIDEO: Highlights vs. Brandon (Radio – FOX Sports 1380) 

Three takeaways from last night:

  1. Carter Hart – it shouldn’t be surprising he’s performing at an incredible level. What should be noted is his astonishing level of play against the quality of competition.

His last three games weren’t slouch opponent material: Portland, Seattle, and Brandon. Those three teams have combined for a 23-11-1-2 record. One team (Seattle) has won seven of the last eight games. One team (Brandon) logged 50 wins last season, captured the Eastern Conference title, and leads the league with 60 goals (they’re only second in goal differential at +22 because Lethbridge cruised by the Vancouver Giants, 5-2 last night). And one team, named the Winterhawks, have begun to find a rhythm with four straight wins.

Hart’s stat line in those three games: .969 save percentage, 1 shutout, 0.98 goals-against-average. He’s the only goaltender this season to completely shut the valve against the T-Birds for 60 minutes.

  1. Brandon’s as loaded as advertised. Provorov, Hawryluk, Quennenville, Bukarts**, Patrick, etc. are as close as it gets to a murderer’s row. Juulsen vs. Provorov could be a blueline battle we’ll marvel at for years to come, as soon as they settle into NHL roles. It should come to no surprise with the amount of scouts and Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin electing to take in last night’s game at Xfinity Arena. Al Kinisky and I marveled at the Wheat Kings’ quality of managing the puck, near big league level. Not many passes missed the tape. At a few junctures of last night’s game, the Silvertips had “weather the proverbial storm” with lengthy shifts spent in their own zone. They never trailed the Wheat Kings, led as much as 2-0 and allowed just one power play. That speaks volumes to the “battle level” from the boys in green. They’ve taken three of four points against serious East Division competition – Brandon and Prince Albert.
  1. Dario Winkler… Last night will get you noticed in a hurry. It took awhile for him to find a rhythm, handling second line duty with Matt Fonteyne and Patrick Bajkov. But as the old saying goes, “good things happen when you go to the net.” He did so, and was rewarded with a finish in his Silvertips debut after Cole MacDonald’s perfectly executed tape-to-tape pass. If he can continue finding chemistry with last night’s linemates, it opens a new offensive dynamic with Winkler carrying a right-handed shot on the left side.

** UPDATE: Bukarts was just traded to the Portland Winterhawks for two conditional third round picks in the WHL Bantam Draft. We’ll be seeing more of him, starting Friday. Wheat Kings radio voice Bruce Luebke has more on the situation, alleviating a potential overage glut with the impending return of Tim McGauley.

PRESS MEAL: Caesar salad, grilled chicken breasts, baked beans, corn on the cob, brownie and cookie platter.

LASTING IMAGE (see above): Welcome to Silvertip Country, Dario Winkler.

We May Use This On The Air! VS. Brandon (10/28)

Al Kinisky and I have pregame coverage at 6:30pm on FOX Sports 1380. What a matchup tonight, considering the future NHL talent that will take the ice. You can wedge Carter Hart in with Noah Juulsen, Ivan Provorov and Jayce Hawryluk (all pictured above).

Not to be buried in the storylines: Dario Winkler will make his debut tonight. He’ll have plenty of motivation against the team that waived him several days ago.

LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports 1380
1ST INTERMISSION GUEST: Mitch Love (via phone, from the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge)


TONIGHT’S MATCHUP
The Silvertips host the Brandon Wheat Kings in the only matchup of the season between the two teams. The Silvertips are currently in the middle of a four-game homestand (1-1-0-0) and host Brandon for the first time since Nov. 1, 2013 when Brandon took the lone matchup, 6-3 at XFINITY Arena. The Silvertips are 8-4-0-0 in the all-time series and the last time the two teams met was in Brandon on Jan. 6, 2015, a 5-0 Silvertips victory (Carson Stadnyk had the game-winning goal). The Silvertips will play in their second East Division matchup and previously defeated Prince Albert, 5-2 at XFINITY Arena on Oct. 11.
SPECIAL GUEST IN THE HOUSE:
Marc Bergevin, general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. Safe to say he’s got his eye on Noah Juulsen.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: DIGESTING THE WHEATIES
The Brandon Wheat Kings are visiting Everett for the first time since 2013-14 and were defeated by the Seattle Thunderbirds last night, 7-2 in Kent, Wash. Brandon is second in the East Division, carrying a record of 8-3-0-2 (18 points), leading the league with a +21 goal differential and 57 goals this season. On the blueline, defenseman Ivan Provrov was selected in the first round (seventh overall) by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft while forward John Quennenville was selected in the first round (30th overall) by the New Jersey Devils in the 2014 draft. Jayce Hawryluk (Florida’s second round draftee in 2014) is off to a torrid start – 19 points in 12 games.

Time to aim for the first home win over the Wheat Kings since the Jon Rosen era.

SILVERTIPS HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD: 8-4-0-0 (overall), 3-3-0-0 (home)
LAST SILVERTIPS HOME WIN: 10/26/07, 5-2 win (GWG: Dane Crowley)
LAST MEETING: 1/6/15 in Brandon, 5-0 win (GWG: Carson Stadnyk)

LAST 3 GAMES:
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. 

POR 5 – EVT 1 (10/16/15): Evan Weinger scored twice and the Portland Winterhawks broke a tie game with four unanswered goals, skating by the Everett Silvertips, 5-1 before 4,586 fans at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. The Silvertips (4-2-0-0) had their three game winning streak snapped, logging their only goal on the power play with a Patrick Bajkov finish in the second period. Adin Hill stopped 33 shots for Portland and counterpart Carter Hart stopped 36 shots, replaced late in the game by Mario Petit (5 saves).

MILESTONE TRACKER

  • Remi Laurencelle is 1 game away from 100 in his Silvertips career and 200 in his WHL career
  • Dawson Leedahl is 18 games away from 100 in his WHL and Silvertips career
  • Patrick Bajkov is 31 points away from 100 in his WHL career

STUCKY CELEBRATES A MILESTONE:
Silvertips equipment manager James Stucky is scheduled to work the 1,500th game in his career tonight. 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 1993-2003.

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.

ALUMNI UPDATE: BYRON FROESE
Byron Froese (2008-10) became the 14th player to suit up for the Everett Silvertips and play in the NHL, making his debut last Saturday with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. He skated at Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens, recorded a pair of shots on goal, two hits and five face-off wins in 12:50 of ice time and wore #56. With the Silvertips, Froese earned 118 points in 142 games before moving onto the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL – where he had 80 points in 83 games and an Eastern Conference title. Last season, Froese collected 42 points in 46 games last season with the Marlies, and 3 goals in 4 games 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:

RANK PLAYER TEAM GAA SV W L OTL SOL
1 Carter Hart EVT 2.38 1341 30 13 5 3
2 Jake Morrissey VAN 2.45 366 8 4 0 1
3 Logan Flodell SEA 2.48 427 8 5 1 1
4 Taran Kozun SEA 2.50 1687 35 21 5 4
5 Michael Herringer KEL 2.54 604 19 4 0 0

* Minimum 500 minutes played

PROSPECT UPDATE
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, beginning tonight 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.

Dario Winkler Practice Comments (10/26)

LISTEN: Dario Winkler practice comments (10/26)

Dario Winkler means business, and he’s been waiting for this.

Acquired off waivers from the high-octane Brandon Wheat Kings on October 13, Winkler fills the second CHL import slot after the subsequent release of Alexander Scherbakov (you might recall his only shot with the Tips ended with a preseason shoulder injury while battling for a spot on the blueline).

With the Tips consistently suiting up Noah Juulsen, Cole MacDonald, Lucas Skrumeda, Jake Christensen and Kevin Davis on the back end, and the availability to add more potential scoring depth, the addition of Winkler brings several key elements to a Silvertip club that can score 10 goals in 2 games … but has scored 2 goals or less in 5 of 8 total games this season.

To ask him to fill Nikita Scherbak’s shoes is extremely lofty and perhaps unfair. But for the pedigree and endorsements of his history, he’s a welcomed addition. With the Wheat Kings visiting XFINITY Arena on Wednesday, motivation shouldn’t be a problem, either. Patience is a suggested trait with this story though – he just got through his first practice today.

The link at the top tells more (thanks, Jesse Geleynse for allowing me to eavesdrop/interview bomb).

Postgame: 10/24 vs. Seattle (2-0 win)

LISTEN: SILVERTIPS REPLAY: 10/24 vs. Seattle (FOX Sports 1380)

Three takeaways:

  1. Connor Dewar had a range from “good” to “epic” every time he stepped on the ice. One goal, one assist, and several cases of chaos should make a pretty good case for a rookie forward to stick around. Keep in mind, he was just signed a few weeks before the start of the season. At 16 years old. I remember how much GM Garry Davidson was glowing when Dewar’s contract ink dried. “We got a good one,” he smiled. He’s right. If not for Carter Hart putting up a shutout, he would have been first star of the game.
  2. Speaking of Hart, we witnessed more typical Carter Hart “looks like he’ll stop anything from vulcanized rubber to burning rubber” play. In simple terms, he was phenomenal. He smothered or deflected pucks with ease, rarely was caught scrambling, and gave the Silvertips another layer of confidence with play in their own end. We’re witnessing the genesis of a pretty special talent.
  3. It was my first time seeing the Thunderbirds in regular season game action, and the one sequence that caught my eye with their talent was the rapid-fire puck movement – nearly NHL quality – on their second period power play. Barzal, Gropp, Kolesar and Bear know how to whip it around. It’s a testimony on how tenacious the Tips had to be in Saturday’s shutdown effort, and how much they really have to bring it, every matchup with Seattle this season. Perhaps, it brings out the best. Why would you ask for anything else in this rivalry?

PRESS MEAL: Fajita bar, chicken, churros (gotta save room).

LASTING IMAGE: Over 7,000 in the house tonight for a great cause. Pink the Rink generated a lot of support, a ton of the feels, and an electric atmosphere right from the opening face-off (stick-tap to Chris Mast for the amazing shot above, among the best hockey photogs in this biz).

We May Use This On The Air! VS. Seattle (10/24)

Game 8 of 73 tonight, 7:05pm. It’ll be a big one in Silvertip Country, and the whole place will be decked out in pink.

Wouldn’t be doing my job to encourage you to make a donation with your ticket purchase – it’s all going for a terrific cause (which connects to a conversation we’ll have, 1st intermission with Tips forward Brandon Ralph).

LISTEN: Fox Sports 1380

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP
The Silvertips host the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first of nine meetings this season and the seventh annual “Pink The Rink” game. The Silvertips are 58-50-14 lifetime in the head-to-head series and last season went 5-3-0-2 against the Thunderbirds. The game will feature two NHL first round draft selections, Noah Juulsen (Montreal) of Everett and Matthew Barzal (NY Islanders) of Seattle. The Silvertips are 0-1-0-0 in a four game homestand, which opened last night against Portland.

FYI
The Silvertips welcome Rob Ramage, player development coach of the Montreal Canadiens, to XFINITY Arena.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: BIRD BITS
The Seattle Thunderbirds, who play out of ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash., are led by head coach Steve Konowalchuk (a former NHL forward of 13 seasons with Washington and Colorado). The Thunderbirds finished third in the U.S. Division last season with a record of 38-25-4-5 and were led by Ryan Gropp’s 58 points in in 67 games. Logan Flodell enters tonight third in league goals-against-average with a 1.90 mark. The last time the two teams met was 3/14/15 at XFINITY Arena, a 3-1 victory before 8,345 fans. The Silvertips went 3-1-0-1 last season at home against Seattle.

(FYI: their assistant coach is Matt O’Dette, a longtime friend, golf playing partner and colleague from my days with the Stockton Thunder/ECHL.)

LAST 3 GAMES:
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.

POR 5 – EVT 1 (10/16/15): Evan Weinger scored twice and the Portland Winterhawks broke a tie game with four unanswered goals, skating by the Everett Silvertips, 5-1 before 4,586 fans at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. The Silvertips (4-2-0-0) had their three game winning streak snapped, logging their only goal on the power play with a Patrick Bajkov finish in the second period. Adin Hill stopped 33 shots for Portland and counterpart Carter Hart stopped 36 shots, replaced late in the game by Mario Petit (5 saves).

EVT 5 – PA 2 (10/11/15): Noah Juulsen scored the eventual game-winning goal in his regular season debut, while Devon Skoleski buried the first two goals of his WHL career and Carter Hart made 34 saves to lift the Everett Silvertips to a 3-1 victory over the host Portland Winterhawks, before a crowd of 9,581 at Moda Center on Saturday. Everett (2-1-0-0, 4 points), sending the Winterhawks to their third straight loss to start the season, spoiled their home opener with three unanswered goals while Jake Christiansen and Sean Mallonee, each playing in just their second game of their career, gathered their first WHL points.

NOTABLE STREAKS

  • Patrick Bajkov has 5 points in 7 games
  • Remi Laurencelle has 12 points in 14 games (dating back to last season)
  • Noah Juulsen has 5 points (2g-3a) in 5 games

MILESTONE TRACKER

  • Remi Laurencelle is 2 games away from 100 in his Silvertips career and 200 in his WHL career
  • Dawson Leedahl is 19 games away from 100 in his WHL and Silvertips career
  • Patrick Bajkov is 31 points away from 100 in his WHL career

ABOUT TONIGHT’S EVENT
PINK THE RINK: The seventh annual event at XFINITY Arena designed to support fundraising for breast cancer treatment programs, the Silvertips have raised nearly half of a million dollars and will host a jersey auction tonight for game-worn jerseys utilized in the last two days. Proceeds from ticket sales will support the Providence General Foundation. The Silvertips will give away glow sticks to the first 5,000 fans in attendance.

 

ALUMNI UPDATE: BYRON FROESE

Byron Froese (2008-10) was recalled on Friday to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. With the Silvertips, Froese earned 118 points in 142 games before moving onto the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL – where he had 80 points in 83 games and an Eastern Conference title. Last season, Froese collected 42 points in 46 games last season with the Marlies, and 3 goals in 4 games this season. Should he make his debut in the NHL tonight vs. Montreal, Froese will become the 14th Silvertips alumni to make his NHL debut.

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:

RANK PLAYER TEAM GAA SV W L OTL SOL
1 Carter Hart EVT 2.43 1309 29 13 0 5
2 Jake Morrissey VAN 2.45 366 8 4 0 0
3 Taran Kozun SEA 2.50 1687 35 21 0 5
Logan Flodell SEA 2.50 405 8 4 0 1
5 Michael Herringer KEL 2.54 604 19 4 0 0

* Minimum 500 minutes played

BYRON FROESE WATCH
We’ve got eyes on former Tips forward Byron Froese, set to become the 14th former member the Silvertips to play in the NHL. Toronto faces Montreal tonight. He’ll wear #56.

POSTGAME: 10/23 vs. Portland (2-0 loss)

LISTEN: SILVERTIPS REPLAY: 10/23 vs Portland (1520 AM KKXA)

Three takeaways:

  1. This was going to be a low-scoring game, and we knew it. Playing just four times in 26 days makes it tough on anybody trying to get into a rhythm, and it’s almost like trying to start your car after sitting idle in frigid temperatures for a week. Credit the Tips for owning an early advantage, and credit Adin Hill: he was remarkable. He had to be, to outduel a guy like Carter Hart, who was solid.
  2. Face-offs aren’t tracked publicly on the WHL site, and usually we obtain this information via “inside sources.” It’ll be interesting to see who had the best numbers tomorrow morning, as these often play into decisions with end-zone face-offs. The Silvertips, arguably, won the biggest of the night – the draw in the Portland zone to begin the 6-on-5 sequence. It began a period of 90-seconds of mayhem in the Winterhawks zone, where the Silvertips earned several decent looks.
  3. Now that we have that “layoff” thing out of the way (thank goodness), the Silvertips can finally get the engine warm with systems on a game-to-game basis without the redundancy of simulating game action in practice. Tonight was about “outworking” your opponent (Kevin Constantine referenced a remix of Portland’s speed game, dashed with grit). Tomorrow night, it’ll be a battle to control tempo against Seattle’s high-octane forward bunch.

We May Use This On The Air: vs. Portland (10/23)

Game 7 of 72, tonight at 7:35pm.

We’ll talk with you beginning at 7:00 p.m. on 1520 KKXA and WHL Live.

TONIGHT: The Silvertips host the Portland Winterhawks tonight in the third matchup between the teams this season. In the last matchup at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 16, the Winterhawks defeated the Silvertips, 5-1 to level the season series, 1-1-0-0. The next time the two teams will meet is Friday, Oct. 30 at XFINITY Arena. The Silvertips are 60-53-13 lifetime against the Winterhawks and are hosting Portland at home for the first time this season. In 2014-15, the Silvertips went 3-1-1-0 at home against Portland.

ANY SURPRISE LINEUP REVISIONS?:  As of right now, no. Dario Winkler, claimed off waivers from the Brandon Wheat Kings, has been cleared to play with his passport coming through. But it would be extremely surprising for him to see game action this weekend based on his circumstances of no ice time, while the red tape clears.

HEAD-TO-HEAD:  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 is 2-6-0-0, defeated by Tri-City, 4-2 in their last game on Oct. 17.

NOTABLE STREAKS

  • Patrick Bajkov has 5 points in 6 games
  • Remi Laurencelle has 12 points in 13 games (dating back to last season)
  • Noah Juulsen has 5 points (2g-3a) in 4 games

MILESTONE TRACKER

  • Remi Laurencelle is 3 games away from 100 in his Silvertips career and 200 in his WHL career
  • Dawson Leedahl is 20 games away from 100 in his WHL and Silvertips career
  • Patrick Bajkov is 31 points away from 100 in his WHL career

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 Thursday, Hart is tied for the WHL lead in goals-against-average in the last two seasons.

WHL GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE LEADERS*, SINCE START OF 2014-15 SEASON:

RANK PLAYER TEAM GAA SV W L OTL SOL
1 Carter Hart EVT 2.45 1284 29 12 5 3
Jake Morrissey VAN 2.45 366 8 4 0 1
3 Taran Kozun SEA 2.50 1687 35 21 5 4
Logan Flodell SEA 2.50 405 8 4 1 1
5 Michael Herringer KEL 2.57 575 18 4 0 0

* Minimum 500 minutes played

PROSPECT UPDATE … 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, beginning October 28 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. The kid can flat out score, and he’s recently jumped into the Twitter scene (@Kemp_2000).

ALUMNI UPDATE: Byron Froese (2008-10) was recalled today to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. This guy was good at major junior – 118 points in 142 games. He was good in the ECHL – 80 points in 83 games and an Eastern Conference title with Cincinnati in 2013-14 (I watched him and his rifle of a snapshot with amazement in the Kelly Cup Finals). He’s been good in the AHL – 42 points in 46 games last season with the Marlies, and 3 goals in 4 games this season. That’s well deserving of a call-up.

If he plays in Toronto’s next game (tomorrow vs. Montreal), he’ll become the 14th Silvertips alumnus to make his debut in the NHL. All the best to Byron!

NEXT 3 GAMES                                                                             COVERAGE

Saturday, October 24         vs. Seattle                    7:05pm            Fox Sports 1380 AM

Wednesday, October 28          vs. Brandon                 7:05pm            Fox Sports 1380 AM

Friday, October 30             vs. Portland                  7:35pm            Classic Country 1520 AM KXA

Hello.

Many broadcasters, if not all, are type-A personalities.

We love to talk.

We love to share.

We love to describe.

That’s why blogs are so important. We’re paid to be expert communicators on a subject you, dear reader, have a cranked amount of interest in. It’s also our outlet to share once we’re off the air. It’s a hub for extended access into the broadcast booth for “Silvertip Country.”

So, it’s my pleasure to roll out this blog on a frequent basis. It’ll be a vehicle for traditional hockey dialogue, but more than that. Here at BentonHockey.com, you’ll find a hub of audio highlights, select conversations (including those from the Silvertips Hockey Show, when we can post), stories from the riveting workday in the world of hockey, and maybe even the garden variety off-topic subject (spoiler alert: we’re a “G rated” website, so we keep it clean around here).

For those around Snohomish County and new to my background, here’s a CliffsNotes version of my broadcast past:

  • Stockton Thunder, radio play-by-play (2005-13)
  • KESP AM 970, anchor and co-host (2006-08)
  • Vancouver Canucks Youngstars Tournament, color analyst and reporter (2010-11)
  • ECHL All-Star Game, broadcaster (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Alaska Aces, TV and radio play-by-play (2013-15)

In addition, the last ten years have allowed for career ventures in media relations, digital media/editorial and more (the full “Grapes of Wrath” version of my background is available here – if you’re inclined). In addition: I’m married (wife of four years: Amy) and have a son at home (10 months: Lukas). The only two reasons I’ve missed calling a grand total of four games in my 10 years of service: my sister got married on a game day, and Lukas’ birth last December.

So, there’s a lot to share around these parts.

And there’s a lot to share about the Silvertips. Sure, I’m the new guy, but I’ve already become accustomed to the premiere facility, a team “lunchpail” work ethic, Kevin Constantine’s excellent and articulate pregame interviews, and friendly faces who wear green each Tuesday night at Sporty’s. We’ll get deeper and deeper as the seasons move along.

As one of my career influences, Vin Scully would say, let’s “pull up a chair.”