RECAP » Richards Racing Out of the Gate

PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia – Jared Bethune’s goal in the third round capped a comeback from down two goals and boost the Prince George Cougars over the Everett Silvertips, 4-3 in a shootout, before 2,961 fans at CN Centre on Friday in WHL action.

Sean Richards scored twice and the Tips built a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes of play while Gianni Fairbrother added his first career WHL goal. Carter Hart posted 20 saves while Tavin Grant stopped all three shootout bids by the Tips to supplement his 22 stops.

The Silvertips, unbeaten in regulation for four of the last five meetings with Prince George, will aim for a weekend split Saturday at CN Centre, with the opening face-off set for 7:00 pm (1520 KKXA / Tips App / WHL Live). They return home Wednesday, Nov. 15 against Prince Albert at 7:05pm.

Fairbrother blasted a shot from the point at 8:23 of the first period that sailed through for his first career goal and a 1-0 Tips lead. Sean Richards then stashed his first of two goals at 14:36, set up by Patrick Bajkov, for a 2-0 Tips lead which held up through the first 20 minutes of play.

Kody McDonald got Prince George on the board just 32 seconds into the second period with a tuck at the left post while the Tips scrambled for a loose puck, cutting the deficit to 2-1. But Richards’ screen on Grant successfully deflected Ian Walker’s right point blast for a 3-1 lead with 3:17 to play.

Jackson Leppard immediately answered just 44 seconds later to draw the Cougars to within a goal again, a 3-2 deficit heading into the third period.

The Tips held the lead and Hart made a remarkable save with less than six minutes left on Ethan O’Rourke to preserve the score, but Prince George eventually caught up for a tie game. With 4:40 to play, Jack Sander’s point shot deflected through traffic to force overtime.

Matt Fonteyne sprung out of the gates with a breakaway early in overtime, turned away by Grant. Hart turned away three shots by the Cougars to force a shootout, which produced no goals in the first two rounds. Jared Bethune snuck a snapper from the right circle for the only goal, and Grant stopped Bryce Kindopp’s deke and snap shot bid to end the game.

15 / RICHARDS       17 / FONTEYNE      8 / BAJKOV
43 / DEWAR           14 / SUTTER          19 / KINDOPP
7 / FASKO-RUDAS 26 / VITELLI        16 / ORMSBY
18 / HEIN                   9 / BUTT             11 / CENTAZZO

24 / FAIRBROTHER         38 / DAVIS
23 / CHRISTIANSEN      29  / WYLIE
5 / ONYEBUCHI                  4 / I. WALKER

70 / HART
32 / WOLF

Notes: Silvertips scratches included Kyle Walker (healthy) and Dorrin Luding (healthy) … the Tips outshot Prince George, 25-23 … Richards has scored three of the last four goals by the Silvertips … Matt Fonteyne once again led the Tips at the face-off circle, going 9-of-17.

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