By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips Preseason Classic is back to full strength.
The Western Hockey League released its preseason schedule Tuesday, and Everett’s annual preseason kickoff tournament over Labor Day weekend has been restored to its full format.
When the tournament began in 2004, it consisted of six teams, usually the five U.S. Division teams plus one other. That meant there were three games each of the three days, and every team played each day.
However, the past two years the tournament featured just the five U.S. Division teams, meaning there were just two games per day and some teams played just twice over the weekend. The last time the tournament had six teams was when the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds visited in 2010.
But the Victoria Royals signed on this year, bringing the tournament back to its full complement of six. The tournament takes place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at Comcast Arena.
Everett has a total of seven preseason games this year. The Tips travel to the Tri-City Americans Preseason Tournament for two games on Sept. 6-7. Everett concludes the preseason with a home-and-home set against the Seattle Thunderbirds on Sept. 13-14.
The WHL’s regular season begins the following weekend. The regular-season schedule is set to be released today.
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.
Silvertips Preseason Tournament
At Comcast Arena
Seattle vs. Tri-City, 11:30 a.m.
Spokane vs. Portland, 3 p.m.
Victoria vs. Everett, 7 p.m.
Tri-City vs. Portland, 11:30 a.m.
Victoria vs. Seattle, 3 p.m.
Spokane vs. Everett, 7 p.m.
Victoria vs. Tri-City, 11:30 a.m.
Spokane vs. Seattle, 3 p.m.
Portland vs. Everett, 7 p.m.
Other Silvertips preseason games
Everett vs. Tri-City at Tri-City Preseason Tournament, 7:05 p.m.
Everett vs. Kootenay at Tri-City Preseason Tournament, 11 a.m.
Seattle at Everett, 7:35 p.m.
Everett at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.