Silvertips Blank T-Birds, Move Into 8th

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EVERETT, WA (ISN) – The Everett Silvertips scored three times in the second period to take control and Kent Simpson posted a 25-save shutout in a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds Friday night at Comcast Arena.

Everett leapfrogged Seattle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the win, which came in front of over 7,400 Silvertips fans and a regional television audience on ROOT Sports.

Josh Birkholz and Reid Petryk each scored a goal and assisted on another in the contest, while Josh Winquist and Ryan Murray also found the back of the net. Birkholz, Petryk, Winquist and defenseman Dominik Bittner each finished the night with a +3 rating. The shutout was Everett’s first of the season and the fifth of Kent Simpson’s career.

The Silvertips set the tempo early in the game with an 11-5 shot advantage and two successful penalty kills in the first period. They also took a 1-0 lead at 8:54 after a cycling the puck deep in the Seattle zone. Reid Petryk would find Josh Winquist in the slot on the play, with Winquist rifling a shot into the top corner to score for the third straight game.

Josh Birkholz increased the lead early in the second stanza after a Thunderbirds turnover at the blueline, racing ahead on a 2-on-1 break and firing a shot off Calvin Pickard’s arm and into the net just two minutes in. The lead remained 2-0 until another rush much later in the period, when Birkholz drew two defenders toward him before dishing into the slot for Petryk, who buried his 15th goal of the year inside the far post to make it 3-0. The ‘Tips then added a powerplay tally with one minute remaining in the second as Ryan Murray joined a battle in front of the net and backhanded a loose puck past a diving Pickard to give Everett a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Seattle put ten shots to the net in the third, but Kent Simpson (16-29-1-5) stopped each one to preserve his first shutout since a 45-save performance against Portland on February 25 of last year. Calvin Pickard (21-32-1-1) totaled 26 saves as the Silvertips outshot the Thunderbirds 30-25. The ‘Tips finished 1 for 8 on the powerplay, while the T-Birds were 0 for 5 in a game that featured 76 penalty minutes and a pair of fights.

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The Silvertips are right back on home ice at 7:05 pm Saturday night as they host the U.S. Division-leading Tri-City Americans for the final time this year at Comcast Arena. The ‘Tips will then complete their home schedule with three more games next week before finishing the regular season with their last four contests coming on the road.

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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