Everett 6, Vancouver 5
A bittersweet night for the Tips. Everett fought back three times and scored the game's final two goals to taste victory. However, the Tips now know they'll be without captain and star defenseman Ryan Murray for a while.
Murray suffered a dislocated shoulder during Friday's 5-0 loss at Victoria. As of now the severity of the injury isn't known. Murray is scheduled to go to Columbus next week for an MRI, once the swelling goes down. However, it's possible the injury will be a matter of months rather than weeks. Obviously this is a huge blow for the Tips. It also threatens Murray's availability for Canada for World Juniors.
Tonight he Tips found a way to win without Murray (and without key forwards Ryan Harrison and Joshua Winquist), and they opened the offensive floodgates that have been mostly closed this season. Everett's six goals matched a season high, and they were one more than the Tips scored in their previous five games combined. When Nick Walters, Landon Oslanski and Tyler Sandhu scored 3:05 apart in the first period, it was easily the fastest three goals Everett has scored this season.
Why was Everett able to score tonight? Part of it was good play, part of it was good bounces, and part of it was the competition as the Giants have entered full rebuild mode.
So these were two struggling teams that haven't exactly burned the nets offensively, and on the sidelines we had Murray, Harrison, Winquist, Marek Tvrdon and Cain Franson. Does someone want to explain to me how 11 goals were scored?
In a game that turned many times, the final turn was decisive. The game could have gone either way when it was tied 5-5 with five minutes remaining. However, Everett's Mirco Mueller put a perfect pass off the boards to release Reid Petryk behind the defense, and Petryk beat Giants goalie Payton Lee with a move to his backhand for the game winner.
First star: Petryk. Two goals, and both were vital as his first tied it at 4-4 late in the second.
Second star: Landon Oslanski, Everett. One goal and one assist, still looks good as a forward.
Third star: Trevor Cheek, Vancouver. One goal and one assist, incredibly strong on the puck.
The Herald's honorable mention: Mueller. One assist, absolutely immense at the back filling Murray's shoes.
Everett 6, Vancouver 5
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