Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Everett's Lukas Vartovnik goes flying through a cloud of ice after taking a hit from Spokane's Evan Haw.
 (Jennifer Buchanan Everett Herald / The Spokesman-Review)

EVERETT – Spokane Chiefs coach Bill Peters can always seemingly find something to take away from a loss.

But even motivational guru Tony Robbins would have a tough time finding a nugget of wisdom for the Chiefs after Game 5 of the their opening-round Western Hockey League playoff series Friday night at the Everett Events Center.

The Everett Silvertips blew away the Chiefs with a four-goal second period en route to a 5-1 win.

Everett leads the best-of-7 series 3-2 and Spokane faces a must-win situation in Game 6 Sunday night in Spokane.

The Chiefs either had their confidence shot with the lopsidedness of this game or will rebound by telling themselves it just wasn’t their night.

Either way, the second 20 minutes were certainly disastrous. It came after a start that wasn’t great, but at least left Spokane contending entering the second.

Everett led just 1-0 after one – on a controversial power-play goal – despite outshooting Spokane 12-4.

The Silvertips got their opportunity for the first goal courtesy of a mistake by Spokane. The Chiefs were called for too many men on the ice at the 17:51 mark and they paid for it. Just 10 seconds later, Kyle Beach buried a one-timer at the right post to give his team the lead.

The goal was disputed by the Chiefs, who didn’t think the puck crossed the vertical plane of the goal line while it was in the glove of goalie Dustin Tokarski. After a brief consultation, the goal was held up as good by the officiating crew.

It was a break that went the way of the Silvertips, who had complained they had been cheated on two calls in Games 3 and 4 in Spokane.

“They came out and played their best game,” said Spokane assistant captain Derek Ryan. “We played our average game.

“They definitely got the bounces. I’ve read them complaining in the paper about not getting the bounces. They’ve got nothing to complain about now. They got lots of bounces tonight.”

In the end, Everett was simply better than Spokane.

“We weren’t very good in the second,” said Peters. “I think we let the first goal affect us too much – didn’t just wash it and move on. I think that affected us for the next 20 minutes. … We weren’t very composed.”

The second period started ominously as Everett rookie Jordan Mistelbacher hit the crossbar right off the opening faceoff. Tokarski looked a little shaky, but things got much worse for him and his teammates.

Everett extended its lead to 2-0 at the 5:08 mark when Dan Gendur deflected a shot from the point. Spokane’s Evan Haw was called for charging 30 seconds later, putting Everett on the power play.

The Silvertips converted off the ensuing faceoff, at 5:40, when Kyle Beach scored on a feed from Peter Mueller. Mueller had predicted in the Everett paper that the Silvertips offense would “come in bunches” and he was correct in his prediction.

Mueller then scored a short-handed goal at the 7:42 mark. He picked the puck clean at center ice and beat Tokarski high on a 1-on-2 rush.

The Silvertips’ barrage lasted 2 minutes, 34 seconds, but was decisive.

Spokane finally got on the board on the power play at the 9:38 mark, when Ryan skated between the circles and whizzed one past Everett goalie Leland Irving. That came on Spokane’s ninth shot, but the Chiefs had allowed 19 to that point.

The Chiefs would waste an ensuing power play and Everett would put the game out of reach – at 5-1 with 5:25 left in the period – when Brandon Campos got his stick on a shot from the point and deflected it past Tokarski as he skated past the Spokane goalie.

Spokane righted the ship in the third period, but it was only the smallest of moral victories.

“Once we got settled back down and made some better decisions, we kind of got the game back, but at that point it was too little too late,” said Peters.

The Chiefs now need to heed Robbins’ mantra of “Unleash the Power Within” or see the series end.

Silvertips 5, Chiefs 1


First Period—1, Evt, Beach 1 (Hamill, Fransoo) 18:01 (pp). Second Period—2, Evt, Gendur 3 (Zetariuk, Hamill) 5:08; 4, Evt, Beach 2 (Mueller) 5:40 (pp); 4, Et, Mueller 2 (Zetariuk) 7:42 (sh); 5, Spo, Ryan 3 (Bowman) 9:38 (pp); 6, Evt, Campos 1 (Vartovnik) 14:35. Third Period—None.

Power-play Opp.—Spokane 1 of 8; Everett 2 of 7. Saves—Spokane, Tokarski (L 2-2-1) 30. Everett, Irving (W, 3-2) 20. A—6,831.