Silvertips win battle of first place clubs
MEDICINE HAT, AB – Josh Winquist scored two goals and set up another as the Everett Silvertips skated to a hard-fought 4-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night at Medicine Hat Arena. Their 18th victory of the year puts the Silvertips at 3-0 on the second leg of their Central Division road trip and keeps them in the top spot in the WHL standings.
With his first goal of the contest extending his point streak to 15 games, Winquist tied Zach Hamill’s franchise record for consecutive games with a point from the fall of 2006. Manraj Hayer notched two assists for the Silvertips, while Matt Pufahl and Tyler Sandhu netted the other two goals as Everett built a 4-1 lead before holding off the Tigers.
The ‘Tips jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than 90 seconds in as Matt Pufahl sent a seeing-eye wrist shot through traffic and into the net to open the scoring. The Tigers countered later in the period as Trevor Cox stepped off the bench and received a stretch pass for a breakaway, backhanding a sharp-angle shot past Austin Lotz to even the score at one. Late in the period the Silvertips won a battle along the boards in the Medicine Hat zone and created a shot for Josh Winquist. His initial chance was blocked in front, but the loose puck in front caromed right back to Winquist for a tap-in goal that extended his point streak to 15 games and made it 2-1 ‘Tips.
The second stanza was just over five minutes old when Everett scored twice in 11 seconds to expand the lead to three. The first goal started with Matt Pufahl feeding a streaking Manraj Hayer, who then dropped a pass to Winquist for a perfect shot into the top corner. Hayer got a lead pass from Winquist right after the ensuing face-off and skated in 2-on-1 with Tyler Sandhu, who one-timed in his 12th goal of the season to put the Silvertips on top 4-1. Medicine Hat countered late in the period with two quick ones of their own however, as Curtis Valk tucked a rebound through Lotz’ five-hole and then tipped in a Dylan Bredo point shot 38 seconds later to close the gap to 4-3 after 40 minutes.
The Silvertips outshot Medicine Hat 10-5 in a fast-moving third period, with neither team generating much offense as the ‘Tips maintained their lead. Everett’s first powerplay late in regulation helped burn more clock time before the Tigers pulled the goaltender in the final minute, but the Silvertips finished off another one-goal victory.
Austin Lotz (13-3-1-0) made a number of solid saves among his 23 for the night to earn the win. Daniel Wapple (8-3-1-0) stopped 28 shots as the ‘Tips outshot the Tigers 32-26. Everett killed off three Medicine Hat powerplays in the contest and did not score on its lone opportunity.
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The Silvertips will now travel to Calgary to conclude the road trip with their fourth game in five days Saturday night against the Hitmen. Opening faceoff is set for 6:00 pm Pacific time, with pregame broadcast coverage getting underway at 5:30 on Fox Sports 1380 AM. The ‘Tips will then venture home for a six-day break before returning to action over Thanksgiving weekend with a game against the Saskatoon Blades next Saturday night at Comcast Arena.
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.