PORTLAND, OR – Goaltender Kent Simpson set a new Everett Silvertips franchise record Friday night at the Rose Garden, making 55 saves in a 3-1 loss to the Portland Winterhawks. Simpson surrendered only two goals on 57 shots before Portland added a late empty-netter as Everett pushed to tie the game late.
Kohl Bauml scored the lone Silvertips goal off an assist from Ryan Murray, who returned to the lineup just one day after winning a Bronze Medal with Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. The ‘Tips put 31 shots on net themselves as the game remained tied past the halfway point of the third period.
Everett came out strong to open the game, outshooting the Winterhawks at the halfway point of the first period before Portland came on later in the stanza. Simpson totaled 19 saves in the opening period as the game stayed scoreless through 20 minutes.
Portland opened the scoring in the first minute of the second, with Brad Ross knocking in a Ty Rattie centering feed to put the ‘Hawks ahead. The Silvertips answered on the powerplay a few minutes later when a puck came out of the corner to Ryan Murray, who ripped a shot from the high slot that deflected off Bauml and into the net to even the score. The ‘Tips had a great chance to pull ahead late in the period when Josh Birkholz was awarded a penalty shot after being hooked on a shorthanded breakaway – but Brendan Burke poke-checked the puck away and the score stayed 1-1 after two periods.
The deadlock remained until a Portland powerplay midway through the third. After Joseph Morrow’s initial shot was stopped, a loose puck bounced off Ross’ skate in front to give the Winterhawks a 2-1 advantage. Everett brought pressure in the closing minutes looking to get the game tied, but Ross scored into an empty net to complete his hat trick and seal the 3-1 ‘Hawks win.
Kent Simpson (6-18-1-5) took the loss after the career-best, 55-save night as the Silvertips were outshot 58-31, also setting a new all-time franchise record for shots-against in a game. Brendan Burke (2-1-1-1) made 30 saves to get his second win. Everett scored on 1 of 2 powerplay chances and held Portland’s league-best powerplay to a 1 for 5 outing.
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The Silvertips will now return home to host two more U.S. Division rivals this weekend at Comcast Arena. The Tri-City Americans make their third visit to Everett Saturday night at 7:05 pm and then the Spokane Chiefs invade Comcast Arena for a Sunday afternoon tilt at 5:05 pm. That game is the first of three straight between the ‘Tips and Chiefs, with Spokane returning to town again next Friday night.
Group tickets and mini-game packages for the 2011-2012 regular season 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.