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Story and Photographs by Glenn Ivens (

The Everett Silvertips made the most of their first trip to Victoria on Tuesday night when they downed the hometown Royals 3-2 and moved a little closer to a playoff spot.

With only 7 points separating the 7th and 10th places in the WHL’s Western Conference the stretch drive is on to determine the top 8 teams. Victoria holds down 7th place with 40 points in 55 games followed by the Seattle Thunderbirds (38pts. – 52 games), Prince George Cougars (34 pts. – 52 games), Everett Silvertips (33 pts. – 52 games).

 MG 0382Everett Silvertips Ryan Murray is being touted as the next “Scott Niedermayer” and is projected to go
high in the 2012 draft. Glenn Ivens photo (

Everett came into town determined to secure one of those spots. Despite sitting in the cellar the Silvertips proved they are better team than their record shows, having lost 8 of their games in shoot outs.

Everett opened the scoring on Tuesday night off the stick of Cody Fowlie who banged home his second chance at 13:48 of the 1st period. The teams split chances but neither was able to bulge the twine. Everett went into the intermission up 1-0 and leading in shots 11-6.

 MG 0460Victoria’s Mike Forsyth wins faceoff during WHL action at Save on Foods Memorial Center on Tuesday night.
Glenn Ivens photo (

Victoria’s defence was bolstered by the return of Tyler Stahl, his first game since suffering a concussion back in early October. Stahl made his presence know, along with teammate Zane Jones who both delivered some bone jarring hits.

Unfortunately Stahl’s return would be short after he was assessed a 5:00 major and game misconduct for charging early into the 2nd period. The play warranted a minor penalty at best, as the Everett player turned his back to the hit at the last second putting him into a vulnerable position.

The Victoria penalty killers stepped up and killed of the Everett power play and seemed to gain a little momentum from the kill but were unable to solve the goaltending of Everett starter Kent Simpson.

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Keith Hamilton juggles the puck during 2nd period of WHL game game against the Everett Silvertips
on Tuesday night. Glenn Ivens photo (

Victoria’s Keith Hamilton made some quality saves in the 2nd period but was beaten late in the period when Dominik Bittner fired a shot through a maze of players that found the back of the net to stake a 2-0 lead after 2 periods of play.

The Royals made things interesting when Ben Walker continued his strong play of late and banged home his own rebound to cut the Everett lead in half 5 minutes into the 3rd period.

 MG 0626Ben Walker gathers his rebound, shoots and ….
Glenn Ivens photo (
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Everett would regain the 2 goal lead when Ryan Harrison took a pass from Cody Fowlie and despite being hounded by the back check of Steven Hodges managed to beat Hamilton low to the stick side.

Victoria added another goal when Hayden Rintoul’s shot from the point bounced off the crossbar and onto the stick of Brendan Magee who made no mistake in burying it in the back of the net for a power play marker.

 MG 0714Brandon Magee tallies a power play goal late in the 3rd period of Tuesday night’s WHL contest with the Everett Silvertips.
Glenn Ivens photo (

Despite controlling the play in the period, firing 14 shots on Simpson and holding Everett to only 3 on Hamilton it was the slow start that proved costly as the game ended 3-2 for the Silvertips.

“We had a slow start, we need to be better prepared and going from the start” remarked Rintoul “Every team is battling for a playoff spot and we need to be ready for tomorrow.”

The Victoria power play managed just 1 goal on 6 chances while the penalty kill shut down all 3 Everett chances.

“We didn’t have enough urgency tonight. They are a good team, their goalie plays well and they have one of the best defenseman in the country in Ryan Murray, they work hard” commented Marc Habscheid.

The teams are back at it tonight at 7:05 at Save On Foods Memorial Center.