You remember the last time the Everett Silvertips played in Victoria, don’t you?
If not, here’s a refresher: It was Game Six of their first-round series with the Royals last April. Tied through regulation, it took five overtimes before Cal Babych ended it by roofing a shot past Griffen Outhouse on a breakaway to give Everett the 3-2 victory and clinch the series four games to two.
“That was quite the game we had there,” Tips forward Patrick Bajkov mused Wednesday. “Pretty much two games in one span. It’s exciting going back there knowing what we’ve done in the past. We’re looking forward to it as a whole.”
The game set a CHL record for longest game in history before Babych ended the 156-minute, 36-second marathon.
Speaking of Bajkov, tonight marks the Nanaimo native’s penultimate return to Vancouver Island as an Everett Silvertip.
“I have a lot of friends and family there so it’s a pretty special feeling, especially with this being my last year and second-to-last game there – regular-season that is,” Bajkov said. “So it’s exciting but obviously we have to and I personally have to stay focused.”
The Royals (21-15-3-1, 46 points) are third in the B.C. Division but have won just three of their previous 10 games. They dealt overage forward Regan Nagy to Prince Albert earlier this week.
Still, the Royals can score goals. They lead the Western Conference and are second overall in the WHL with 163 goals this season.
“It’s going to be tough in that rink because they can manage their lines a little bit in terms of matching up,” Everett head coach Dennis Williams said. “We definitely have to play a good road game, a good 200-foot game, a good mindset of understanding what their strengths are.”
If you’re hankering for hockey earlier than 7, you can check out Carter Hart and Team Canada as they go for the gold medal against Sweden tonight at 5 p.m. That game is on NHL Network.
GOLD MEDAL GAME DAY! 11 days in, 6 games down, 1 to go. #WorldJuniors
— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) January 5, 2018