Sunday April 20, 2014

Silvertips play the role of Grinch

Murray Mitchell

Meghan Allan, 12, helps collect hundreds of teddy bears off the ice at the end of the game. Helping out from the Blazers is Connor Clouston.

The Everett Silvertips don't get to have a Teddy Bear Game, so they decided to spoil the fun for the Kamloops Blazers.

The Silvertips shut out the Blazers 7-0 at Interior Savings Centre on Saturday night. It ruined the annual Teddy Bear Game for the 4,119 fans in attendance, who were forced to throw their bears on the ice at game's end while the Silvertips were celebrating.

Everett doesn't hold a Teddy Bear Game.

"Long before my time, not sure when - maybe 2004, 2005 or 2006 - they got shut out two years in a row on Teddy Bear Toss night," explained 19-year-old defenceman Ben Betker, who scored twice Saturday in what was his 100th career WHL game. "So we don't do one down there anymore. It's kind of too bad, because I enjoy the Teddy Bear Toss nights."

Betker certainly enjoyed Saturday's, especially playing the part of the Grinch. His strong defensive play - it was a solid team effort, really - helped Austin Lotz record his fourth shutout of the season with a 26-save effort.

Everett had lost two straight games coming into Saturday's contest, so wasn't really focusing on teddy bears.

"I think it's just a bonus," Betker said. "We definitely knew it was Teddy Bear Night, but for the most part, we just wanted to come in here and execute our game plan.

"For them to not get to throw their bears is kind of a bonus."

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