EVERETT – A crowd of over 8,300 fans watched a dominant performance as the Everett Silvertips outshot the Seattle Thunderbirds 42-20 on their way to a 3-1 victory Saturday night at XFINITY Arena. The ‘Tips and T-Birds have now concluded their ten-game season series with five wins each for the fifth straight year. Paired with Portland’s shootout loss to Prince George, the victory puts Everett’s U.S. Division lead back to four points over the Winterhawks.
Ben Betker found the back of the net for the sixth time this season and added an assist for the ‘Tips on his way to being named first star. Remi Laurencelle and Jordan Wharrie scored the other two goals for Everett, while Cole MacDonald tallied a pair of assists on his way to second star honors. Goaltender Carter Hart (17-5-2-2) held a shutout for nearly 59 minutes as he turned away 19 of 20 shots for the win.
The Silvertips came out in the first with a bounce in their step and continued to build momentum throughout the frame. Despite a 7-0 shot advantage midway through the period and a plethora of scoring chances, including close calls off the post and over the net, the game remained scoreless until the Silvertips’ third powerplay of the period. With less than a minute to go in the first, Remi Laurencelle gathered the rebound of a Ben Betker shot off the boards and sent it to the back of the net. Seattle’s first shot of the game came with just five seconds left in the period as Everett held a 1-0 lead and a 20-1 advantage on the shot clock through 20 minutes.
The Silvertips didn’t have to wait long into the second to double their lead as Jordan Wharrie fired a laser from the blue line straight to the back of the net just after an Everett powerplay to make it 2-0 at 2:56. The ‘Tips thought they had made it 3-0 shortly after, but the goal from Jake Mykitiuk was waved-off due to goaltender interference. Everett then killed off two Seattle powerplays and Carter Hart made timely saves to keep the momentum in the ‘Tips favor. On their sixth powerplay of the game and with only six seconds remaining in the middle frame, Ben Betker scored on a wrist shot from the point to put Everett up 3-0 after two.
After the ‘Tips outshot Seattle 35-13 through 40 minutes, play evened out in the third with solid chances on both ends of the ice and Hart continuing to shut the door for Everett. The Thunderbirds pulled their goaltender late in the frame for an extra attacker and Ryan Gropp scored for the T-Birds with 1:12 remaining to break up the shutout bid for Hart and the ‘Tips. Gropp followed-up by taking a high-sticking penalty to send Everett to the powerplay to run out the clock in a 3-1 victory.
Seattle goaltender Taran Kozun (31-19-4-4) stopped 39 of 42 shots in net. The Silvertips powerplay went 2 for 8 on the night while the Thunderbirds didn’t find the back of the net during three powerplay opportunities.
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The Silvertips will now finish the season with three games in three days next weekend. The ‘Tips are in Victoria on Friday before both the ‘Tips and Royals head to XFINITY Arena on Saturday for the final home game of regular season at 7:05. Puck drop is set for 7:05pm on Fan Appreciation night, which will feature numerous giveaways and a guaranteed $10,000 prize in the 50/50 raffle.
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