Playoff series between Giants and Silvertips takes testy turn with coaches barking at rival benches to end Game 3

Everett’s Williams had words with Vancouver bench and then opted to call timeout with 60 seconds left in 6-2 game, which infuriated Vancouver counterpart Dyck.

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The temperature is rising in the Vancouver Giants’ rivalry with the Everett Silvertips.

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The benches at the Langley Events Center are side-by-side and Everett coach Dennis Williams came toward the partition that separates them and began yelling at the Vancouver group, and presumably counterpart Michael Dyck, during a stoppage in play with one minute left and the Silvertips leading 6-2 in Game 3 on Wednesday in their best-of-seven WHL Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Referees Brett Iverson and Mark Pearce were in the midst of tossing Vancouver forward Matthew Edwards from the game with a checking-to-the-head major penalty for a hit on Everett defenseman Ty Gibson. Vancouver defenseman Tom Cadieux had also been thrown out at the 12:50 mark of the third period with an interference major for a hit on Everett center Austin Roest.

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When the dust finally settled and the teams began to line up for a faceoff in Vancouver territory to play things out, Williams opted to call a timeout, which prompted Dyck to start yelling at the Everett bench.

Williams and Dyck are friendly in real life. Dyck was head coach of the Team Canada entry in the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Under-18 Cup and Williams was one of his assistants. Dyck and Williams were then both assistants with the Canadian world junior team this season. Before the WHL series, they each talked about how they usually keep in contact but were planning on avoiding doing that during the series.

Everett did win 6-2 Wednesday and carries a 2-1 lead into Game 4 on Friday at the LEC. Game 5 is Saturday in Everett, Wash. The Silvertips were the first-place team in the West, their 45-13-5-5 record leaving them 47 points ahead of the eighth-place Giants and their 24-39-5-0 mark.

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Neither Dyck nor Williams was willing to get into particulars after Wednesday’s game about what was said. Dyck admitted he was upset by the timeout, saying it was something that he wouldn’t do at that stage of the game with the score 6-2. Williams admitted he “didn’t like” the Edwards’ hit on Gibson.

Williams summed up the discussion between the benches as “heat-of-the-moment.”

The teams combined for 96 penalty minutes Wednesday, with 60 of them assessed to the Giants. The Giants and the Silvertips were at a combined 52 minutes in Game 1 and 56 minutes in Game 2.

Vancouver Giants coach Michael Dyck.
Vancouver Giants coach Michael Dyck. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG files

Vancouver center Zack Ostapchuk wrote it all off to a common occurrence in hockey playoffs, because “Game 3, 4 and 5 … these are games were you get sick of each other.”

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For the 68-game regular season, Everett had the 10th most penalty minutes in the 22-team WHL, at 12.3 minutes-per-game, while Vancouver was 12th, at 11.8 minutes-per-game.

“As a series goes on, you grow to not like the other guys,” Ostapchuk, who’s Vancouver’s captain, said. “You want to take it to each other.”

Giants veteran winger Adam Hall added: “It’s two teams with a lot of pride. It’s two teams that don’t like each other a whole lot.”

The WHL reviews all non-fighting major penalties as well as all double-minors, making them eligible for suspension. Vancouver was waiting Thursday afternoon to hear from the league office on whether there was going to be any added discipline for Edwards or Cadieux.

Everett center Alex Swetlikoff, oddly enough, was serving the first game Wednesday of a two-game suspension for a hit on Giants forward Payton Mount in Game 2. Swetlikoff, who was Everett’s leading scorer during the regular season, had received a checking-from -behind double-minor on the play.

Edwards, 16, was playing his first game with Vancouver on Wednesday. The team had announced Tuesday that the Saskatoon native, who was picked by Vancouver in the fourth round of the 2020 WHL Draft, had signed with the club on Tuesday after playing this season with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals. He had three goals, six points and 42 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Capitals.

Cadieux, 19, joined the Giants at the Jan. 17 trade deadline after a swap with the Regina Pats. On the season, he had four goals, 17 points and 38 penalty minutes in 55 games.

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