Siemens’ 45 Saves Highlight Everett’s 5-2 Win Over Tri-City
By Dan Mulhausen | Tri-City Americans
EVERETT, WA – For the second straight game, the Americans outchanced and, arguably, outplayed their opponent. However, for the second straight time, strong opposing goaltending and a few mental lapses sent them home with a loss.
Luke Siemens stopped a career-high 45 shots and Josh Birkholz recorded a five-point night as the Everett Silvertips (7-7-1-3, 18 pts) rebounded to beat the visiting Tri-City Americans (11-6-1-1, 24 pts) 5-2 in front of 5,523 fans at Comcast Arena. With the win, the ‘Tips picked up just their third win in their last 14 games while knotting the season series with Tri-City at a game apiece. Meanwhile, the Americans lost their third straight game as they continue their road-heavy portion of the schedule to start the season.
After playing one of their best all-around games of the year last Saturday vs. Red Deer, the Americans struggled to get into a rhythm to start the contest, failing to register a shot on goal until after the midway point of the first period.
Meanwhile, Everett, which came in ranked last in the WHL on the power play, scored on the man-advantage just 2:53 into the game. From the right circle, Scott MacDonald scored his first of two goals on the night to give the ‘Tips the early 1-0 lead.
Then, in a span of three and a half minutes, Everett tripled their lead, taking a 3-0 lead into the first break. With 6:33 remaining in the period, MacDonald forced a Tri-City turnover then broke out Birkholz in the Americans zone. From the slot, Birkholz then shelved a shot on Tri-City starter Drew Owsley to make it 2-0. Just 3:00 later, and after another forced Americans turnover, Birkholz and MacDonald were at it again, this time on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Birkholz eventually set-up MacDonald, who beat Owsley over his glove as Everett went up 3-0.
After outshooting Everett 12 to 10 in the first frame, Tri-City bombarded Siemens in the second period, outchancing the ‘Tips 20 to 6 despite two Everett power plays in the period. And, just 2:24 into the second, Tri-City got on the board. Set-up back door on Siemens, Brooks Macek fed Kruise Reddick in the slot, who proceeded to bury his third goal of the season.
But, despite the mounting shot differential, Everett managed to put a dagger into Tri-City’s comeback attempt. Picking up a loose puck, Birkholz skated into the Americans’ zone and fired a shot from just inside the blue line. Birkholz’s shot eluded Owsley high over his blocker, putting Everett back on top by three and chased the goaltender from the game. Replaced by rookie Chris Driedger, Owsley finished the night with 11 saves on 15 shots in over 33 minutes of work.
Only 1:24 into the goaltending switch, the Americans pulled back to within two. David Conrad found Nils Moser in front of Siemens, who was able to slip the puck past the fallen netminder at the near post. With the goal light off, but the puck in the net, referee Derek Herman had the play reviewed before upholding the call on the ice, giving Moser his first goal of the season.
The Americans continued to fire away, launching another 15 shots in the third period, but could get nothing past Siemens, who earned his first star honors behind several pivotal saves. Still desperately trying to get back into the game, Tri-City coach Jim Hiller pulled Driedger for the extra attacker with less than three minutes to play in the contest. But, with 2:10 left in regulation, a risky cross-ice pass by Zak Stebner was intercepted by Birkholz, who capped off his first WHL hat trick with an empty netter.
Driedger played well in relief of Owsley, stopping all 11 shots he faced including two great saves, one on Landon Ferraro in the first shot he faced and one on Ryan Murray late in the third to keep the Americans within two. Tri-City finished the night 0-for-2 on the power play, while Everett went 1-for-4 on the man-advantage. The Americans also finished with a 47 to 27 shot advantage in the contest.
Tri-City, which has not lost four consecutive games since January 4-9, 2008, will look to snap their three-game slide tomorrow, November 13 against the resurgent Spokane Chiefs (9-8-1-0). Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena. Spokane, which has won two straight and is 3-1-1 over their last five games, took the last meeting between the rivals, a 6-5 overtime win back on October 2 that evened the 12-game series at 1-all. Five of the Americans’ last six trips to Veterans Memorial Arena have been decided by just one goal, with Tri-City going 2-2-2-0 in that span. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL WebTV, at the Americans’ home away from home, Kimo’s Sports Café in Richland. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 6:45 p.m.
Applebee’s 3 Stars:
1, Luke Siemens, Everett
2, Josh Birkholz, Everett
3, Scott MacDonald, Everett