VICTORIA, British Columbia – Cal Babych’s breakaway goal ended the longest game in Canadian Hockey League history, 11:36 into the fifth sudden death overtime period, and lifting the Everett Silvertips into the second round with a 3-2, five overtime victory over the Victoria Royals in Game 6 of the first round of WHL Playoff action.
The Silvertips won the series, 4-2 and earned victories in the last two games of the series in OT. Carter Hart cemented first star status with 64 saves in 151:36 of work on Sunday, while stopping every shot in the final 114:52 of the game.
The Silvertips move onto the second round of postseason play and have home ice advantage in a seven game series against the Seattle Thunderbirds, opening Friday at XFINITY Arena in downtown Everett. The series opens at 7:35pm in Game 1, with tickets on sale now at everettsilvertips.com/playoffs.
After a scoreless first period, Babych’s first of two goals on the game put the Tips up 1-0 as he deflected Brian King’s sneaky face-off win past Griffen Outhouse at the right circle.
Victoria seized the lead with back to back goals in the second period, first with Regan Nagy’s backdoor stash at 7:42 and Jared Dmytriw’s power play deflection of a Mitchell Prowse point shot at 16:44.
Just 1:36 into the third period, Noah Juulsen triggered a shot from the right circle that bounced off traffic and past Outhouse’s blocker, leveling Game 6 at 2-2.
The Tips best chance came in the early minutes of OT, when Bajkov missed a half open net and the Royals were denied in the second OT on Carter Hart’s miraculous toe save on Dmytriw.
Through four overtimes, energy dwindled and the Tips continued to battle Victoria, neck-and-neck through methodical shifts while Outhouse and Hart matched each other, save for save.
With more than half of the fifth overtime off the clock the Silvertips manufactured a turnover at their blueline and Babych raced away behind the Victoria defense. His forehand flip beat Outhouse at the glove side, sending the Tips spilling off the bench in pandemonium.
Outhouse made 72 saves and took second star honors.
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Notes: Silvertips scratches included Dawson Butt, Ian Walker, Montana Onyebuchi, Mark Liwiski, Devon Skoleski, Ethan Browne and Gianni Fairbrother … Jack Walker skated in warmups as a game-time decision and did not suit up … Hart improved to 2-0, lifetime in overtime games and 3-0 in games when the Tips force elimination … the Tips improved to 10-6 in their franchise history, in games forcing elimination … Victoria was eliminated for the second straight season in overtime, on home ice.
Silvertips season ticket or mini-plan packages are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/season or by calling (425) 252-5100.