EVERETT — It was a double dose of humility for the suddenly-cooling Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday.
The Thunderbirds lost for the second night to fall to 11-5-0-2 when they were drubbed 5-0 by the Everett Silvertips in a game in which they were outshot 35-16. That stat is an accurate reflection of how the game was played in front of a sellout crowd of 8,255 at Comcast Arena.
The T-birds managed only two shots in the first period for the second game in a row and had only seven in the first 40 minutes as Everett skated to a 3-0 cushion.
Seattle made it easy on former teammate Daniel Cotton, who was pressed into action when Everett starter Austin Lotz suffered an ankle injury and is out at least three weeks.
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“It’s very disappointing,” Seattle coach Steve Konowalchuk said. “We don’t have the whole team competing right now. These division games are tighter checking and some of our guys didn’t compete hard enough.”
Everett, meanwhile, improves to 11-3-2-0, rebounding after a loss to Brandon at home on Friday.
“We came into tonight’s game prepared and executed our game plan, basically, perfectly,” Everett’s Ben Betker said. “We knew we had to bounce back after that game against Brandon.”
Betker scored the first goal of the game just 53 seconds after the opening faceoff. Russian center Ivan Nikolishin doubled the lead at 13:02 of the first period and Seattle did not respond.
“We just never competed,” Konowalchuk said. “This is a good wake-up call at how tough our division is. Hockey is a game of one-on-one battles and they won a lot more of those battles than we did. They outcompeted us and deserved to win.”
Now the T-birds face a full week of tough practices to try to get back on track after losses to Portland and Everett while being outscored 9-2.
“We have to get everyone back on board and digging in,” Konowalchuk said. “We’re hesitating too much looking for the pretty play. We’ve had three spells like this already this season. It’s surprising and upsetting. The one thing we haven’t had trouble doing this season is generating scoring chances and these last two games we weren’t doing that.”
At one point in the second period, Everett held a 20-3 advantage in shots and a 3-0 lead thanks to a goal by Josh Winquist at 3:57 of the second period. Winquist added his second of the game and 13th of the season on the power play 5:34 into the third period before Carson Stadnyk rounded out the scoring with his fourth of the season.
The game was the first of 10 meetings between the teams this season, with the final nine coming in the second half of the season.
The Thunderbirds played without leading goal scorer Roberts Lipsbergs, who missed the game with an upper body injury but is expected to be able to play when Seattle faces Victoria on Friday.