The Everett Silvertips are stingy on defense and have enough skill on offense that any mistake can cost you big time. The Spokane Chiefs learned that hard lesson after Bryce Kindopp scored on a penalty shot in overtime to give the Silvertips a 4-3 win over the Chiefs Sunday at the Arena.
Kindopp forced a turnover by Spokane’s Bobby Russell and skated in alone on Chiefs goaltender Lukas Parik. Russell hooked him from behind, setting up the game-winning penalty shot.
The Chiefs still got one point for taking the game to overtime, but the second spot in the standings proved elusive and prevented the Chiefs from a weekend sweep.
Still, there were positive takeaways for head coach Manny Viveiros.
“We did everything we possibly could. We had some great opportunities and we knew exactly how they were going to come in here and play,” he said. “Our guys stuck to our game plan. We were structured and had more than enough opportunities to score, but their goaltender made some good saves.”
The Chiefs peppered Everett’s Dustin Wolf with 40 shots and held Everett to 25. Wolf stopped 37 in the win, and Parik turned aside 21.
Kindopp’s game-winner was his second goal of the game. He also scored in the third period to give Everett a brief 3-2 lead.
But the Chiefs were a resilient team this night, answering Everett every step of the way. Spokane answered Everett goals 35 and 17 seconds apart to keep pace.
The first answer came after Jalen Price scored his first goal of the season to give Everett an early 1-0 lead at 7:10 of the first. Adam Beckman answered 35 seconds later to tie the game after he deflected a Cordel Larson pass in front.
After Kindopp’s third-period tally, Eli Zummack took a cross-ice pass from Luke Toporowski and scored to tie the game before the P.A. announcer was finished sharing Kindopp’s goal.
Michael King had Spokane’s other goal with 15 seconds left in the first. Michal Gut scored for Everett on the power play at 15:10 of the second.
“We’ve kind of had issues at times when teams score and we kind of fall apart,” Beckman said. “Tonight we got right back on the forecheck and got the game back on track quickly.”
Kindopp’s penalty shot came right after Russell hopped onto the ice. Viveiros doesn’t fault Russell’s play, noting that Kindopp made a nice move to get in position to take advantage.
“Mistakes happen and (Russell) will make that play a hundred times and that won’t happen,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that just happened. It’s not on him, our guys played well, and he played well. Sometimes stuff happens.”
Everett converted on its two power-play opportunities. That’s notable because the Silvertips’ special teams are not their strength. Everett came into Sunday with just the 16th-best power-play unit out of 22 Western Hockey League teams.
The Chiefs, one of the better power-play teams in the league, converted on one of two opportunities.
The Silvertips also were playing their third game in as many nights and were down to just 10 forwards against Spokane. Key contributors Max Patterson and Cole Fonstad were both out. Fonstad is injured, and the reason for Patterson’s absence wasn’t known.
Despite that advantage and the strong play, Spokane still couldn’t crack a Silvertips team that has won the last three U.S. Division titles. The Silvertips seem to be going for it again this season.
“There’s nothing negative other than the fact that we didn’t get two points tonight,” Viveiros said. “Our kids did everything we asked of them.”
The Chiefs and Everett are back at the Arena on Friday for a rematch.
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