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.

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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.