EVERETT – Four unanswered goals during a dominant the second period and a hat trick from Josh Winquist propelled the Everett Silvertips to an 8-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars in their 11th season opener Saturday night at Comcast Arena. Before a crowd of just under 6,000 Silvertips fans, the ‘Tips won their home opener for the first time in three years to start the season 1-0.
Winquist’s hat trick and four-point night highlighted Everett’s eight-goal performance, the club’s first time scoring eight goals in a game since October 2009. Manraj Hayer and Dawson Leedahl both scored twice for the ‘Tips, while Tyler Sandhu tacked on a goal. Brayden Low, Matt Pufahl and Ivan Nikolishin all chipped in a pair of assists as Everett scored four powerplay goals on ten opportunities.
Everett opened the scoring in the first period on the powerplay when Dawson Leedahl’s shot from along the goal line deflected off goaltender Brett Zarowny and in. Klarc Wilson responded for the Cougars by putting in a rebound of a shot in front to tie the game at one. Prince George took the lead on another rebound off goaltender Austin Lotz with David Soltes depositing the second chance less than one minute later. Everett tied the game again during a 5-on-3 powerplay as Matt Pufahl set up Josh Winquist for a one-timer, sending the teams into the dressing room at 2-2. Shots were 16-11 in favor of the ‘Tips after 20 minutes.
The Silvertips took over in the second period with a 19-7 shot advantage and four unanswered goals to go up 6-2. Everett re-took the lead less than one minute in when Manraj Hayer received a pass in front and lifted a backhand shot into the top corner. Winquist scored his second of the game shortly after, taking a nice pass from Ivan Nikolishin and splitting two defenders to put the Silvertips up 4-2. During 4-on-4 play midway through the period, Dawson Leedahl took a shot from a sharp angle that caromed off a skate in front and behind goaltender Ty Edmonds, who had relieved Zarowny. Winquist completed his hat trick to cap off the period, stealing a puck at the blueline and speeding off for a shorthanded breakaway before slipping it under Edmonds for a four-goal ‘Tips lead.
Everett sealed the game early in the third as Winquist this time set up Hayer at the side of the net for a one-timer on the powerplay to give the ‘Tips a 7-2 lead. The Silvertips then tallied their fourth powerplay goal when Matt Pufahl broke his stick on a shot before the puck made it to Tyler Sandhu for his first of the season. The Cougars got back on the board midway through the third on Klarc Wilson’s second goal of the game before the ‘Tips finished the 8-3 win.
Goaltender Austin Lotz (1-0) stopped 29 of 32 shot in net for the Silvertips, who outshot the Cougars 42-32. Brett Zarowny (0-2) allowed four goals on 20 shots in the first 22 minutes before being relieved by Ty Edmonds, who made 18 saves on 22 shots. Everett held Prince George scoreless on all five Cougar powerplay chances.
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The Silvertips resume action next Friday with their first road game of the season against the Vancouver Giants. Opening face-off is set for 7:30 pm at Pacific Coliseum, with radio broadcast coverage starting at 7:00 pm on Classic Country AM 1520 KXA.
Season tickets, mini-game packages and six-game packs for the 2013-14 WHL season are available now at the team office. If you have already purchased a package, tickets are available for pick-up at the team office during regular office hours (8:30a-5p, Monday-Friday). Visit www.EverettSilvertips.com or call 425-252-5100 for more information. To keep up with all the latest team news, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.