VICTORIA, British Columbia – Carter Hart made 25 saves for his second career playoff shutout and the Everett Silvertips furnished a pair of power play goals in the second period to take a 2-0 victory over the Victoria Royals in Game 3 of the opening round of the WHL Playoffs, before 4,790 fans at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Tuesday.
The Silvertips seized a 2-1 lead in the series and home ice advantage again, leaning on the goals from Patrick Bajkov, a Nanaimo native who posted the sixth multi point game of his playoff career and Eetu Tuulola, who earned his first career WHL goal.
Game 4 is tomorrow in Victoria at 7:05 p.m. (1380 AM / 95.3 FM / Tips App), with the Silvertips facing a chance to force an elimination game on home ice. Friday’s Game 5 in downtown Everett will take place at 7:35 p.m. at XFINITY Arena, with tickets on sale at www.everettsilvertips.com/playoffs.
The first period, moving at a sluggish pace, only opened the door for five shots by Victoria but Hart had to be sharp early, keeping the Royals off the board on a spectacular post-to-post save against ex-teammate Spencer Gerth.
A Loch Morrison cross-checking penalty, carrying over into the second period, led to Bajkov’s third goal of the series and 1-0 lead just 22 seconds into the period. Kevin Davis, stationed at center point, connected on a pass to Bajkov, who roofed a wrister off the bar and into the net from the right circle.
Tuulola made it 2-0 with 2:27 left in the second period, setting a screen at the net and deflecting another Bajkov blast from the right circle past the blocker of Victoria starter Griffen Outhouse.
Hart was at his busiest with 13 saves in the third period, but turned away many of them on chances from the perimeter.
Outhouse made 19 saves to take the loss.
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Dawson Butt, Keith Anderson, Mark Liwiski, Riley Sutter, Devon Skoleski, Ethan Browne and Gianni Fairbrother … the Silvertips improved to 7-15 in Game 3 situations and have won in two of the last Game 3 scenarios – both on the road … Dominic Zwerger, who had a pair of assists, owns 11 points in 13 lifetime playoff games against Victoria … Jack Walker, who had four points in the first two games of the series, was scratched from the lineup.
Silvertips season ticket or mini-plan packages are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/season or by calling (425) 252-5100.