It was a rough start to the game for Pats goaltender Tyler Brown who allowed the Pats’ first goal just two minutes into the first period, on one of the first shots he faced.
The game wouldn’t get much better for the Pats as Everett beat them 4-2.
“We didn’t show up fast enough,” said forward Sam Steel who earned his 100th point of the season in the loss. “I thought we got better in the third but it just wasn’t enough.”
“This is the kind of game we need to see and play against and play in and be successful in,” head coach John Paddock said about the loss.
It’s a familiar refrain for the coach who has been stressing all year that the team needs to be challenged and come out on top, not just beat every team 6-1. Everett was certainly that challenge on Tuesday night, but the players didn’t get the outcome Paddock hoped for.
“I think that (Everett) deserved to get the win and full credit to how they played,” he said.
It was Aaron Irving who struck first finding his way past Brown for his 16th goal of the year.
Brown was able to hold the line for the rest of the period, however, and the Pats evened up the shots on net to nine apiece heading into the first intermission.
But things didn’t get better in the second.
A high stick by Connor Hobbs had the Pats on their heels after he was tagged with a four-minute penalty. The Silvertips put up about a half dozen shots in that time, but the Pats successfully killed off the entire thing.
Halfway through the second, however, Everett struck again and Brian King found the back of the net to make it 2-0.
The Pats came back with lots of pressure late in the period and with three minutes left in the second, when Filip Ahl broke past Hart for the Pats’ first goal of the game.
Noah Juulsen regained Everett’s two-goal lead quickly, though, scoring just a minute later and teammate Patrick Bajkov added one on in the dying seconds of the middle frame to give the Silvertips a 4-1 lead heading into the third period.
The Pats came firing into the third with their best period of the night, holding the line on Everett’s scoring, but unable to make up enough ground to get the win.
“They move in a unit of five and there’s not much room out there when you get the puck, but it’s something we needed to adjust to earlier,” Steel said.
The Silvertips got some necessary help from their goaltender as well. Hart – arguably the league’s best goalie with a 1.98 average goals against record – held the line for the Silvertips despite the Pats pressure and 11 shots on net in the third. He performed well enough to earn the first star of the game.
Meanwhile, Dawson Leedahl scored the only goal of the third period, assisted by Steel to earn him that 100th point.
“I don’t go into the year looking to put up a specific amount of points,” said a modest Steel after the game.
“It’s a good milestone.”
The Pats are back in action on Friday night in Brandon. They don’t return home to the Brandon Centre until Feb. 24.
- Game Stars: Carter Hart, Noah Juulsen, Filip Ahl
- The loss ends the Pats win streak at 11.
- The Pats killed all four powerplays they faced, including a four-minute marathon in the second.