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Tips steal two points, 7th place from Royals

EVERETT, WA – The Everett Silvertips rode Kent Simpson and three timely goals to edge out the Victoria Royals 3-2 and earn their first three-game win streak of the season Wednesday night at Comcast Arena.  The victory puts the Silvertips in seventh place in the WHL’s Western Conference with six games remaining, one point ahead of Victoria and three points clear of ninth-place Seattle.

Simpson totaled 35 saves as Everett was outshot 37-13 in the contest, setting a new season-low shot total for a game.  Three of those shots found the back of the net however, with Josh Winquist scoring for the fifth consecutive game, Manraj Hayer for the second straight and Ryan Harrison posting his third consecutive game-winner over the Royals.  Ryan Murray also chipped in two assists and a +3 rating as the ‘Tips defeated Victoria by the same 3-2 score for the third time in three tries this season.

The Royals outshot the Silvertips 11-5 in the first period, but neither team lit the lamp until midway through the second.  Victoria then recorded the game’s first goal on the powerplay after Simpson stopped the initial shot during a 3-on-2 rush, but Robin Soudek banged home the rebound to put the visitors on top 1-0.  Everett scored the equalizer later in the period as Ryan Murray made a long pass up the middle to Josh Winquist, who sped past the defense and buried a shot blocker-side on Jared Rathjen to tie the game at one after 40 minutes.

It took only 2:47 of the third period for the ‘Tips to pull ahead, as a hit in the corner by Zach McPhee helped free up Jari Erricson for a pass to Manraj Hayer.  Hayer deked across the goal crease before backhanding the puck in to make it 2-1.  With the scored unchanged until only five minutes remained in regulation, Murray and Cody Fowlie helped spring Ryan Harrison down the left boards for the wrist shot that beat Rathjen to give the Silvertips a 3-1 edge.  Pulling their goaltender for an extra attacker with two minutes remaining, the Royals got back within one as Ben Walker fed Soudek for his second goal of the night.  After being outshot 14-2 and scoring on their only shots in the third period, the Silvertips successfully ended the threat in the final moments to escape with their 20th win of the year.

Kent Simpson (18-29-1-5) won for the third straight game in goal for Everett with 35 stops, while Jared Rathjen (3-9-1-0) made only ten saves in defeat.  Victoria scored on 1 of 2 powerplay chances and held the ‘Tips off the board on their lone powerplay in the contest.

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Next up for the Silvertips is a three-in-three weekend featuring their final two home games of the regular season on Friday and Saturday.  The ‘Tips will take on the first-place Portland Winterhawks Friday at 7:35 pm at Comcast Arena before hosting the Royals again at 7:05 pm Saturday night in their home finale.

Silvertips group tickets and flex ticket packages can be purchased in person at the team office inside at Comcast Arena or by phone at 425-252-5100.  Single game tickets are on sale by phone (866-332-8499), online (www.comcastarenaeverett.com) or at the Comcast Arena box office.

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