VICTORIA, BC – The Everett Silvertips clinched their 10th consecutive WHL playoff berth Friday night despite suffering a 4-1 loss to the Victoria Royals at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The Silvertips clinched a spot in the postseason by virtue of the Prince George Cougars’ 5-2 loss to the Kamloops Blazers. Everett can still finish as high as seventh in the Western Conference, standing three points behind the Seattle Thunderbirds with two home games remaining.
Josh Winquist scored the lone Everett goal with seven minutes remaining, ending the shutout bid for Coleman Vollrath and giving the ‘Tips a window to come back. The Silvertips mustered only nine shots over the last 40 minutes after an evenly played first period ended scoreless. Everett missed on four powerplay chances, while Victoria went 1 for 4.
Both goaltenders stepped up with big saves as the first period ended scoreless, with Victoria outshooting Everett 14-11. The Royals opened the scoring on their first powerplay when the rebound of a Steven Hodges shot bounced hard off the end boards and in front to Jordan Fransoo for a goal at 8:04. The Royals took a 2-0 edge with only 37 seconds left in the period as Joe Hicketts picked the top corner off a feed from Hodges.
Fransoo made the lead 3-0 in the third period, blasting a shot just inside the far post of Austin Lotz’ net during a 1-on-1 rush at 6:32. The Silvertips got on the board later in the period as Reid Petryk powered to the high slot for a shot on net and Winquist tucked in the rebound for his team-leading 24th goal of the season. With a powerplay chance and the Everett net empty for a 6-on-4 advantage late in the game, Hickett’s clearing attempt slid all the way down the ice into the empty net to provide the final 4-1 margin for Victoria.
Austin Lotz (15-19-2-1) stopped 28 shots in a losing cause in the Silvertips’ net, while Coleman Vollrath (4-12-0-2) earned the win with 19 saves for the Royals. Victoria outshot Everett 32-20 in total.
CLICK HERE for Box Score
Their road schedule now complete, the Silvertips will return home to conclude the regular season with back-to-back games at Comcast Arena. The ‘Tips meet the Royals again Saturday night at 7:05 pm in the second game of their home-and home series with Victoria. Everett will then host their regular season finale Sunday afternoon at 5:05 pm against the Tri-City Americans.
Single-game tickets for remaining home games during the Silvertips’ 10th Anniversary season at Comcast Arena are still available, and single-game playoff tickets go on sale Tuesday morning at 10:00 am. 2013 Silvertips playoff packages are on sale now. For more information call 425-252-5100. To keep up with all the latest team news and information, “like” the Everett Silvertips Hockey Club on Facebook or follow @WHLSilvertips on Twitter.