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Simpson's return in goal still undecided

The Silvertips netminder, who hurt his ankle in Friday's loss in Tri-City, is day to day, but he won't play in tonight's game at Spokane.

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LYNNWOOD -- Everett Silvertips goaltender Kent Simpson escaped major injury. However, it's still uncertain when the Tips will get their No. 1 netminder back.
Simpson suffered a sprained ankle during Everett's 3-2 overtime defeat against Tri-City last Friday. His availability will be determined on a game-to-game basis.
Simpson suffered the injury late in the second period of Friday's game when his foot jammed into the post, causing his ankle to turn over. After trying to play through the injury for a few moments Simpson took himself out of the game, and he did not dress for Saturday's game at Seattle.
Simpson was not at Everett's practice Monday at Lynnwood Ice Center, and he won't play tonight at Spokane. However, the good news for the Tips is that there was no further damage.
"I don't know if there is any time frame on it, really," Everett coach Craig Hartsburg said. "Every day you evaluate him and see where he's at. He's obviously not with us here today, but it's something we'll just look at day to day."
Prior to suffering the injury, Simpson had been a workhorse in goal for the Tips, starting 19 straight games -- one short of the franchise record for consecutive starts in goal. Simpson's strong performances were a big reason why Everett earned 20 of a possible 26 points during a recent 13-game stretch, helping move the Tips from last place in the Western Conference into a tie for sixth.
With Simpson out, Luke Siemens was called into duty in Everett's goal. Siemens has played well when called upon this season, but he hadn't played much recently. Prior to coming in for Simpson on Friday, Siemens' last appearance was on Jan. 22 at Tri-City, when he again relieved Simpson. Siemens' last full game was Jan. 8 at Spokane, nearly two full months earlier.
But despite the long layoff, Siemens held up well. He allowed two goals on 12 shots in relief of Simpson on Friday. Then on Saturday he stopped 42 of 45 shots in another 3-2 overtime defeat, this time at Seattle.
"I thought he was good," Hartsburg said about Siemens. "I thought early he was a little nervous, he hadn't played in a while and obviously he knows the importance of these games. But I thought he settled down well.
"We're not going to worry about it because he's been good for us," Hartsburg added. "It's not like we're putting a player in there who hasn't played all year."
Sixteen-year-old Andy Desautels, whose midget season with the Regina Pat Canadians is complete, was called up to serve as Siemens' back-up Saturday. He will remain with the team until Simpson is ready to return.
Check out Nick Patterson's Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.

Today's game

Opponent: Spokane ChiefsWhen: 7 p.m.Where: Spokane ArenaRadio: KRKO (1380 AM)Live blogging: www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog

Scouting report

Tonight is the eighth and final meeting of the season between Everett (27-27-7-4) and Spokane (42-17-4-2). The Chiefs have dominated the season series, winning six of seven. That includes a 7-2 thrashing of the Tips in their last meeting on Feb. 16 in Everett.

The Chiefs, who are coming off a two-game sweep in Prince George over the weekend, remain hot on the heels of Portland for first place in the Western Conference. Spokane trails Portland by three points with a game in hand.

Spokane features the league's second-leading scorer in 20-year-old center Tyler Johnson (48 goals, 58 assists). He and 20-year-old left wing Levko Koper (32 goals, 47 assists) are capably supported by a forward group that is four lines deep.

On defense the Chiefs have one of the league's top offensive defensemen in 18-year-old Brenden Kichton (22 goals, 51 assists) and one of the league's top defensive defensemen in 19-year-old Jared Cowen (18 goals, 28 assists). In goal, 20-year-old James Reid (30-9-2-1, 2.59 goals against average, .902 save percentage) is a seasoned veteran. Nick Patterson, Herald writer

Story tags » Silvertips

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