EVERETT, Wash. – Remi Laurencelle hit the 20-goal plateau for the second straight season and Carter Hart stopped 15 shots to lift the Everett Silvertips to back-to-back wins over the Kelowna Rockets, 3-1 on New Year’s Day matinee action before a crowd of 5,324 at XFINITY Arena.
The win boosted Everett – wearing specialty vintage style jerseys for the game, branded the “Throwback Classic” – back into first place in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of idle Seattle while giving the Silvertips two straight wins in three days against the defending WHL champions and Memorial Cup finalist. Laurencelle led the Tips with a goal and an assist while Brycen Martin’s first goal with the Silvertips stood as the game winner.
Just 2:56 into the game, Laurencelle crashed the net and popped a rebound past Michael Herringer for a 1-0 lead, confirmed after a brief video review session. The goal energized the Silvertips, who suffocated Kelowna’s attack and held their counterpart without a shot through the first nine minutes of the game.
A late power play opened the door for Martin’s goal, his first since November, for a 2-0 lead with 1:23 left in the first period. Several seconds after a booming hit by Martin at the team benches, he streaked to the mid-slot and converted Carson Stadnyk’s centering bid with a wrister past Herringer.
Graham Millar buried his second goal in as many games, another Silvertips power play strike for a 3-0 cushion at 4:13 of the period. Dawson Leedahl and Matt Fonteyne worked the puck to the slot, where a bouncer was picked up by Millar and rifled past Herringer for his sixth power play goal.
Joe Gatenby got Kelowna on the board with a wrister through traffic, from the right circle at 15:43 after Nick Merkley dealt the puck to Gatenby from the left circle.
Kelowna was limited to eight shots in the third period, and Hart turned away their biggest threat on Tyson Baillie’s snapper from the left circle.
Herringer, starting in place of Jackson Whistle, made 28 saves.
SILVERTIPS STARTING LINES
Leedahl – Laurencelle – Stadnyk
Bajkov – Fonteyne – Millar
Dewar – Skoleski – King
Ralph – Winkler – Khomenko
Skrumeda – Juulsen
Martin – Davis
Dwyer – MacDonald
NOTES: The Silvertips scratched Spencer Gerth, Tristen Pfeifer, Jake Christiansen, Jaeger White and Yan Khomenko … Leedahl, assisting on Laurencelle’s goal, earned his eighth point in the last eight games … the Silvertips improved to 11-2-1 when playing in front of 5,000 fans or more, home or away this season … Hart’s 21st win of the season leads the WHL … Everett will play in one more 2:05pm home game this season, Jan. 18 vs. Saskatoon.
Everett returns to the road, where they’re currently in a stretch of 10 games out of 12 overall away from home ice, tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. (1380 AM/WHL Live) against the host Kamloops Blazers. The meeting will be the first between the teams this season.
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