Liam Schioler was unequivocal when asked what cost the Pats the game Sunday afternoon.
It was the penalties. Seven of them to be exact and as the number of them grew higher so did the Silvertips lead.
The final score was 5-1.
“We have to be out of the box,” said a frustrated Schioler after the game. “Five on five we were great and as soon as we started taking penalties that’s when everything went downhill.”
The Pats had just one penalty in the first and took an early lead off a Nick Henry slapshot from the point.
Everett answered back three minutes later with a goal from Sean Richards who got past Pats goaltender Max Paddock top shelf as he skated in front of the net.
The teams took a 1-1 tie into the first intermission but it only took a minute into the second for Reece Vitelli to put the Silvertips on top and it fell apart for the Pats from there.
Four of the Pats seven penalties came in the second, and while the penalty kill only officially allowed one goal on the scoresheet it had a larger effect on the team.
“When you’re out there for a minute 40 (seconds), minute 50 (seconds), if they score at the end of it you’re still being taxed on those minutes and with guys that are trying to create some offence immediately after – it makes it real hard on them,” explained head coach Dave Struch.
“Blocking shots and doing all that stuff and boxing out in front it’s not easy,” added Schioler. “And then gapping up and all that, reoccurring, every time you got to go out there if it’s all the time it’s not fun and it’s not easy.”
The Pats shots on goal dropped significantly in the final two periods and with it their scoring chances, but they were able to hold the Silvertips to just that one goal from Vitelli in the second.
Everett, however, came in hot in the third with Bryce Kindopp scoring 15 seconds in, just moments after Duncan Pierce returned to the ice after serving his tripping penalty and the Tips continued to dominate the period.
Riley Sutter beat Paddock on the powerplay six minutes later and Jake Christiansen potted an empty-netter for good measure with a little more than three minutes to go handing the Pats their third straight loss.
“Oh, it’s simple,” said Schioler when asked what needed to be fixed. “We just got to be more disciplined. There’s no reason to take penalties like that especially 200 feet from our own net when we’re playing well. It just kills the momentum.
“A lot of times we don’t work as smart as we should,” Struch added. “And again a lot of it for sure has to be frustration – this is 16 to 20-year-old young men that are going through a lot of stuff here at 3-9 right now that makes it very difficult. All we can ask from them is that they continue to come to the rink with a good attitude and keep it positive.”
The Pats will get a full four days to prepare for their next opponent. Medicine Hat comes to town for the end of the Pats four-game homestand.
Puck drop is 7 p.m. on Friday.