Saturday, March 23, 2013

Silvertips Shock Hawks in Game One 4-3

No one gave the Everett Silvertips a chance against the Scotty Munro trophy winning Portland Winterhawks, in their first round series. For one thing they went 1-9 against the Hawks in the regular season. But, everything starts over in the playoffs and they proved that getting two different two goal leads, before holding on during a late Winterhawks barrage.

Portland seemed to feed off the crowd from the get-go and had 22 shots on Everett goalie Austin Lotz in the first period. Lotz made several key saves, but was also helped by the Hawks missing on great scoring chances. Portland would finally get one 9:34 in after Taylor Leier took several shots on Lotz, on the powerplay and Chase De Leo found a rebound to put in the open net. Portland could not find the net again in the first, despite dominating play. This would end up being key in the Tip's victory.

In the 2nd, the Hawk's worst dreams would come true when the Tips scored twice to take the lead. First, they scored a weird one at 3:07. when the puck went off Portland D-man Troy Rutkowski and past an out of position Carruth. Everett D-man Cole MacDonald would get credit for the goal as he was the player who crashed into Carruth while carrying the puck. Then with only 2:55 left in the period, 16 year old Tyler Sandhu beat the Hawk's Defense to a puck behind the net and found a wide open Joshua Winquist in the slot. Winquist wired it past Carruth and the 9300+ in attendance were quickly quieted.

Nic Petan and Joshua Winquist
It would go from bad to worse for Portland in the third period when 3:25 in, Everett's Ty Mappin took a long wrist shot from the point that Carruth gave a rebound off to his left on. Kohl Bauml beat the Hawk's Defense to the puck and backhanded it around Carruth's left pad to give Everett the 3-1 lead. Portland would answer the bell, however and they created a slew of offensive chances that Lotz turned away until Ty Rattie one-timed a great pass from Brendan Leipsic with 10:23 left in the game. The relief from the team and crowd was palpable. Portland then flew up the ice creating chance after chance, that Lotz somehow turned away. Included in these saves was a beauty he made on Taylor Leier. Leier had an open net to shoot at but Lotz dove across to make the glove save. The media timeout at the half-way mark of the period could not have come at a better time for the Tips, as the Hawks were buzzing all around the ice. Then off the timeout Kohl Bauml caught Seth Jones and Tyler Wotherspoon out of position and fired a wrist shot past Carruth's blocker to make it 4-2. Portland would pull Carruth and get a late powerplay to make it 6 players to 4 on the ice. They would take advantage after several great chances when Nic Petan put home the second rebound off a Seth Jones point shot to make it 4-3 with 16 seconds left. Time was their enemy then as they would not get another scoring chance, giving Everett the 4-3 victory. Everett now owns home-ice advantage in the series.

Portland out-shot the Tips 58-31. Lotz made 55 saves and Carruth made 27.

3 Stars:
#3-Taylor Leier- was easily the Hawk's most consistent player in the game, creating many scoring chances and nerly putting in a few of his own.
#2- Kohl Bauml- by my count only had a few shots on goal, but took advantage of two of them, scoring twice.
Austin Lotz
#1- Austin Lotz- he will need to be the #1 star again, should the Tips win any more games in the series. I predicted that he would need to stand on his head to give them a chance and he fit that title to a tee. He made several jaw-dropping saves and was helped by the Hawk's forwards missing key open nets.

Random Notes:
-Lotz made 65 saves in a regular season loss to Kamloops, so he has proven that he can stand on his head against a better team.
-Bauml made an odd play behind the net at 8:42 of the first, when he tripped Mac Carruth behind the net and then put the puck into the open net. The goal was obviously dis-allowed.
-Coach Travis Green made an interesting move by taking Paul Bittner and Keegan Iverson out of the lineup in favor of Joe Mahon and Joey Baker. Iverson and Bittner had been playing on the 3rd line with Taylor Peters.
-In another shocking game 1 win, 7th seeded Seattle beat 2nd seeded Kelowna 5-4 .
-Spokane beat Tri City 4-1 and Kamloops took down Victoria 3-2 in the other game ones in the Western conference.
-Portland is hoping this is not the start of a repeat of the 6 game loss to 8th seeded Prince George back in 1996-97.
-Game 2 is 7:00 tonight

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