Pufahl leads Everett to trip opening win
RED DEER, AB – Overage defenseman Matt Pufahl notched both Everett goals as the Silvertips defeated the Red Deer Rebels 2-1 in the first game of their Alberta road trip Tuesday night at Enmax Centrium. Everett improves to 4-1-1-0 with the victory and will be right back in action Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Pufahl sparked the offense with his second and third goals of the year against his former club, helping the ‘Tips bounce back from an early one-goal deficit. Goaltender Austin Lotz (3-1-1-0) did his share of good work at the other end, making a number of terrific saves among his 20 for the night to keep Everett on top over the final 27 minutes of play.
The Rebels went on the powerplay early in the first period and capitalized when a deflected point shot ended up on the stick of Matt Bellerive, who wristed it past Austin Lotz to give the home team a quick 1-0 lead. Everett knotted things up off the rush a few minutes later as Manraj Hayer cut down the right boards and dished to a trailing Pufahl, who rifled a shot into the top corner over Patrik Bartosak’s glove. Thanks in part to a diving save by Lotz after an Everett turnover, the first period ended 1-1.
Both teams created opportunities in the second period, but the Silvertips snagged the only goal during a 5-on-3 powerplay to take the lead. With Dominik Volek already in the box for slashing, Bartosak was called for cross-checking Carson Stadnyk in front to give the ‘Tips a two-man advantage. Just six seconds into the 5-on-3, Jujhar Khaira set a screen in front of the goaltender as Pufahl’s point shot slipped past to give Everett a 2-1 lead. The ‘Tips skated to a 13-6 shot advantage in the second and carried the one-goal lead into the dressing room.
The Silvertips outshot the Rebels 8-5 in the third period, but Austin Lotz still came up with more than one big save to preserve the lead. Everett killed off a Red Deer powerplay midway through the period and held off a late advance with the net empty to clinch its fourth win of the season.
The ‘Tips finished with a 32-21 lead on the shot clock and went 1 for 5 on the powerplay, while the Rebels scored once in three chances with the man-advantage. Patrick Bartosak (4-3) made 30 saves in defeat for Red Deer.
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With this week’s four-game trip now underway, the Silvertips will head north to Edmonton to face-off against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Oil Kings Wednesday night at 6:00 pm Pacific time. Pregame radio coverage starts at 5:30 on Fox Sports 1380 AM. Everett then travels to Prince George for back-to-back games against the Cougars on Friday and Saturday.
Season tickets, mini-game packages and six-game packs for the 2013-14 WHL season are available now at the team office. Visit our website or call 425-252-5100 for more information. To keep up with all the latest team news, “like” the Everett Silvertips Hockey Club on Facebook or follow @WHLSilvertips on Twitter.