The Western Hockey League doesn’t track possession time as an official stat, but if it did, the Everett Silvertips’ numbers would have been through the roof Friday night.
The Silvertips kept Spokane in its own end for most of the night and put 43 shots on net in a 3-1 win. The Chiefs managed only five shots on net in the second and third periods combined.
The loss snapped Spokane’s three-game winning streak that started before the Christmas break, and a seven-game home winning streak. The Silvertips have points in their past 15 games and lead the U.S. Division by a comfortable 16 points.
“(Everett was) too good for us. They played too hard, they battled too hard, it was just too difficult,” Chiefs coach Dan Lambert said.
The difficulty started in the second period after the Chiefs took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Rookie Jack Finley scored his fifth goal of the season off a rebound at 18 minutes, 19 seconds of the first.
But the Silvertips outshot the Chiefs 19-2 in the second period.
Gage Goncalves scored his first of the season off a rebound in front of Spokane goaltender Bailey Brkin at 1:21 to tie the score. Connor Dewar scored on the power play with a shot from the point to give Everett a 2-1 lead at 14:01 of the second. Brkin was screened on the play.
Dewar added an empty-netter to seal the win in the third period.
The third period was more of the same, with Everett outshooting the Chiefs 12-3. The Chiefs were also 0 for 4 on the power play, and that was with the league’s top power-play unit.
“A team like Everett with that offensive ability, you never want to be in your D-zone that much and give up that many shots,” defenseman Nolan Reid said. “It tires out the D, tires out the forwards. If we’re in the D-zone that long we’re not getting any chances on offense.”
The Chiefs got a power-play opportunity in the second period that could have halted Everett’s charge. Riley Sutter was in the box for interference with the score tied, but the Chiefs could only muster one shot on net during the 2-minute advantage.
The Chiefs got two power-play opportunities in the third period but spent most of the time chasing the puck in their end.
“I guess it was just one of those nights. We couldn’t generate any shots,” Reid said. “We couldn’t really get into their zone too much. Special teams has to be a big factor in our game and tonight it wasn’t.”
The only real scoring chance came with 3 minutes left when Riley Woods had an open look on the rush but could not solve Everett goaltender Dustin Wolf, who had a relatively uneventful night while stopping 14 shots.
The Chiefs don’t have much time to dwell on the loss, as they welcome the Tri-City Americans on Saturday night . They’ll have to figure things out quickly if they want to get back in the win column.
“Tomorrow’s game will be a lot different,” Reid said. “Today we played well in the first period then the second and third we just kind of gave up. We have to play a full 60 (minutes) and play to our strengths.”
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