The WHL U.S. Division leading Everett Silvertips are playing as good a brand of hockey as can be expected this season and entered Saturday night’s play against the Victoria Royals owning a 10-2-2-0 record with 22 points. That total put them behind only the Prince George Cougars and their 27 points for the second best mark in the league.
Victoria (8-7-1-0) was looking to end their two-game losing streak and stay above the .500 mark while trying not to fall out of contention and keep pace in the B.C. Division.
When the puck dropped it was the Royals that skated with purpose as Victoria controlled the early action in Xfinity Arena. But in the end, it was Everett that utilized an extra :43 seconds of overtime to earn the 2-1 victory.
For the majority of the first period the teams played a defensive game with limited opportunities, though Victoria managed three shots on the Everett net at the midway point of the opening session. Unfortunately for the Silvertsip, one of those shots was goal from the stick of Royals center Tyler Soy who sailed an ice-level wrist shot from just inside the right face-off circle past the Silvertips goalie Carter Hart for the early unassisted 1-0 lead.
When the horn sounded, it was the Royals who enjoyed an 8-5 shot advantage.
The second frame was a seesaw affair with both teams working the transition game as Everett started to assert themselves as the contest got a bit chippy in front of the Royals goalie Gary Outhouse’s net.
As a result Everett right wing Brandson Hein took a roughing call at 8.52 of the second for mixing it up in front of the Royals goal.
The Silvertips had a great scoring chance while shorthanded when right wind Devon Skoleski broke out of the Royals’ zone in full stride with the puck and with a clear path to the Victoria net, but his deke move to the glove-side was deflected wide by Royals goalie Griffen Outhouse.
But the deficit wouldn’t last much longer as defenseman Noah Juulsen tallied his 5th goal of the year when he redirected a nice cross-ice pass from right wing Patrick Bajkov in to the Victoria goal. With a 1-1 tie, Everett began to even the shot count and started taking it to the Royals.
The period ended with the Silvertips now holding a 20-17 shot advantage in the tie game and looking to carry the momentum into the final frame.
At 5:49 of the third period, Victoria earned the manned advantage when Silvertips right wing Eetu Tuulola was sent to the box for hooking. But the Royals were unable to put pressure on the Hart in the Everett net as a result.
Just a few moments later, it was the Silvertips turn to skate on the power play when at 8:46 Royals defensemen Brayden Pachal took his seat in the box for Kneeing.
Everett held the puck in the Victoria zone the full duration of the advantage and put a few good shots on net, but were unable to capitalize as the game stayed tied 1-1.
When the final horn sounded of the third, Everett powered out to a 41-27 shot advantage and were clearly in control on the ice.
The teams couldn’t settle things in regulation so overtime was in order. But that didn’t last long when Silvertips center Connor Dewer took possession of the puck in the Royals end of the ice and then sailed home the game winner. It was Dewer’s first of the year. As a result, Everett improved to 11-2-2-0 on the year.
Stars of the Game
1st Star – Silvertips goalie #30 Carter Hart who stopped 26 of 27 shots and kept the Silvertips in the contest early when Victoria controlled the tempo before Everett took over.
2nd Star – Royals goalie #30 Griffen Outhouse who although allowed two goals, kept his Victoria squad in the contest stopping 40 or 42 shots.
3rd Star – Silvertips defenseman #3 Noah Juulsen who’s 5th goal of the year tied the contest at 1-1 in the second.
The Silvertips return to action at home against the Red Deer Rebeles Wednesday, November 2nd.