By Staci C. – Silvertips Staff Writer
EVERETT, Wash. – Dominic Zwerger and Patrick Bajkov each bagged three points and Carter Hart turned in a 30 save effort to help guide the Everett Silvertips to a wire-to-wire victory, 4-2 over the Victoria Royals in Game 1 of the first round of the WHL Playoffs on Friday at XFINITY Arena.
The Silvertips, seizing a 1-0 series lead, return to battle the Royals again tomorrow for game two at home on Saturday, March 25 at 7:05 PM PT (Fox Sports 1380 / WHL Live). Tickets are on sale starting at www.everettsilvertips.com/ticketpromos.
The Silvertips cruised out to a 4-0 lead by the second period, scoring twice on the power play while Zwerger helped the Tips pull ahead with back to back goals. Kevin Davis logged a goal and an assist.
The first period, opening the first playoff matchup in Silvertips vs. Royals history, looked very different from the last two times the Tips played the Royals in the regular season. Both teams played a very tight, defensive game and did not give much space. Everett did not register a shot on goal for the first seven minutes of the game. Neither team allowed quality chances although the Royals did get a few shots in the first seven minutes; each were effortlessly saved by Carter Hart.
The game really got going when Chaz Reddekopp took a roughing penalty at 6:58, giving the Tips their first power play of the evening. In typical Kevin Davis fashion, he sent a laser beam from the slot past Outhouse to make it 1-0 at 8:11, thanks to a great pass by Cal Babych. Once the penalty expired, the game returned to a tight defensive battle, although each team managed to get significantly more shots in the remaining minutes. Everett had 11 shots versus Victoria’s 8 shots.
The second period began similar to the first period – few shots and lots of end-to-end hockey. Things started to get exciting when Patrick Bajkov roofed a beautiful goal past Outhouse at 12:04 to make it 2-0 Tips; assists were from none other than Dominic Zwerger and Matt Fonteyne. Shortly after the goal, Zwerger got the puck past Outhouse making it 3-0 at 14:27, thanks to helpers from Montana Onyebuchi and Patrick Bajkov. Less than two minutes later, Reddekopp got called for the trip and Tips were back on the PP.
Immediately on the PP, Zwerger got his second goal of the evening thanks to great passing by Bajkov and Davis, making it 4-0 at 16:24. Noah Juulsen took a tripping penalty at 17:12, giving the Royals their first power play of the evening. 9 seconds before the penalty was set to expire, Jack Walker went in all alone on Carter Hart and broke the shutout, making it 4-1 at 19:03.
The Tips began the third on the penalty kill and the penalty ended very quickly, putting them back at full strength. The third period saw a parade of penalties by both teams. At 2:52, four-on-four hockey began as Reddekopp and Dewar exchanged roughing penalties. Neither team capitalized during the 4-on-4 action.
At 9:11, Morrison and Richards exchanged unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for taking liberties with each other, putting the teams back at 4-on-4. 6 seconds later, several scrums broke out, giving each person on the ice a dance partner of the opposing team. Bobylev, Gagnon, Fonteyne and Juulsen were all called for roughing, joining Morrison and Richards in the box; Juulsen received an additional penalty for charging, which gave the Royals a 4-on-3 advantage.
The Royals did not capitalize on the man advantage, keeping the score 4-1. With five seconds left on another power play, Dante Hannoun cut the Tips’ lead in half, making it 4-2 on a deflection at the net.
The Royals struggled to pull Outhouse for the sixth attacker, as the Tips were putting a lot of pressure in the Royals’ end. Once Outhouse was pulled, shortly after, the Royals iced the puck and had to put Outhouse back in. With 4 seconds left, Reddekopp got a four minute penalty for spearing and the game was finished on one last face-off in the Victoria zone.
Griffen Outhouse took the loss in net with 21 saves.
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Dawson Butt, Keith Anderson, Mark Liwiski, Riley Sutter, Devon Skoleski, Ethan Browne and Gianni Fairbrother … the Silvertips improved to 13-10 lifetime in Game 1 situations … they have won their last three game 1 scenarios.
Silvertips season ticket or mini-plan packages are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/season or by calling (425) 252-5100.
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