Updated Dec 8, 2012 - 8:33 am
T-Birds shut down Everett for fourth straight win
By Andrew Eide
EVERETT - The T-Birds continued their winning ways Friday night at the Comcast Arena in Everett as they defeated the struggling Silvertips by a score of 5-1. Seattle got goals from five different players and goalie Brandon Glover came within six seconds of recording a shut out. In the end Glover made 33 saves in back stopping a solid road win for the T-Birds.
"Defensively we've really cleaned up some of the areas we were having trouble with earlier in the year," Glover said after. "Guys are doing a great job in front of me and they're making it a lot easier on me back there."
The T-Birds got Glover the goals he needed Friday night and it started in the first period with the red-hot Roberts Lipsbergs, who got a pass in the slot and fired a quick shot past Everett goalie Daniel Cotton. It was Lispsbergs 15th of the season and extended his point streak to 11 straight games.
For most of the game it looked like that one goal was all that Seattle (16-13-1-0) and Glover was going to need. They continued to have good shifts where they controlled possession of the puck and get chances. Everett (11-20-0-2) had a few moments, especially at the end of the first period, where they put together some pressure, but they could not beat Glover.
"It was a good road win," head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. "I'd still like us to be a little smarter at times, be able to grind out some clock without it being open-ended at both sides. Glover played a great game and it was a good team win."
The T-Birds got two more goals in the second period as Seth Swenson scored his 11th of the season and Mitch Elliot got his first when he knocked home a rebound right in front of the net. They cashed in two more times in the third on goals from Riley Sheen and Brendan Rouse. The real story though was Glover, the defense and the penalty kill.
Seattle faced some tough penalty kill situations throughout the game, including a 4-on-3 situation and a two-man advantage but was able to kill them off. Those kinds of kills can gain you momentum and discourage your opponent and both happened on Friday night. Glover made some solid saves while short handed and Luke Lockhart made gutsy play after gutsy play throwing his body in front of shots. It's little things like blocking shots that go a long way to winning and it did not go unnoticed.
"He (Lockhart) competes," Konowalchuk said. "He's the captain and competes on the ice every shift, does the right things, sacrifices his body and you build and try to get everybody to play that hard. He sets the bar, he does it so everybody needs to do it."
Probably the only person who appreciates the penalty kill more than a head coach is the goalie at the back end.
"The guys have been doing a great job on the PK," Glover said. "No surprise tonight, and Locks is one of those guys who lays his body on the line every night for us and we really appreciate that."
For most of the night it seemed that Glover would pick up his second career shut out. With about a minute left in the game he made a nice sprawling save on a Reid Petryk mini-breakaway, it seemed like his night. Then, with 40 seconds left Seattle took a delay of game penalty and a bad bounce ended the shut out bid. Tyler Sandhu flung a puck in front of the Seattle net where it hit one of the defenseman and snuck past Glover with six seconds left in the game.
The goal did not matter in the out come of the game, but it ruined what would have been a perfect night for the T-Birds net-minder. Despite that, Glover took it all in stride.
"It's OK, I already have one," he said with a smile. "It's unfortunate they got the goal with six seconds left but the important thing is we won."
When you win you can exhale and chuckle about giving up a goal with six seconds.
"You know, it felt a little like a mini-loss," Konowalchuk said, also with a smile. "To take a penalty like that and have it go off our stick, but I'm sure it doesn't bother him much and he played a great game. It would have been nice to get a shut out for him."
Seattle is back in action Saturday night as the Portland Winterhawks are back in town. Face off is at 7 o'clock at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
Glover has been hot during the team's four game streak. He has picked up the win in all four games and only allowed eight goals during the span.
Roberts Lipsbergs not only extended his goal scoring streak but he now leads the WHL rookies in scoring, passing Portland's Oliver Bjorkstrand.
I asked Glover about a moment in Thursday night's game against Tri-City. Late in the game when Tri-City had a power play and pulled their goalie for an extra attacker it looked like Glover tried to score a goal. He got the puck in his crease and fired a shot that didn't get past the blue line. Was he trying to score? "Yeah," he said smiling. "You don't get many opportunities where if you turn it over it's not going to cost you too much so I gave it shot. I made it about two feet before one of their guys got a piece of it."
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