Stealth captain Kyle Sorensen (right) high fives Everett Silvertips center Reid Petryk during Thursday's Comcast Arena Classic. (Photo: Richard Olson)
Flanked by Everett City Councilmember Scott Murphy (left) and Everett PFD President Gary Weikel, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson conducts the ceremonial ball drop to start the inaugural Comcast Arena Classic. (Photo: Richard Olson)
EVERETT, Wash. – Providing a light-hearted break amid the Western Hockey League and National Lacrosse League seasons, the Washington Stealth and Everett Silvertips came together Thursday night to benefit community youth sports groups in the inaugural Comcast Arena Classic in Everett.
The benefit lacrosse game raised an estimated $15,815 with 100 percent of the $5 purchase price of tickets going to individual clubs such as the Everett Boys and Girls Club, Everett Youth Hockey and more than a dozen area youth lacrosse clubs for equipment, playing time and scholarship programs.
With the Stealth and Silvertips coming together in two equally matched squads, lacrosse and hockey fans alike were treated to a rare display of athletic lacrosse skill with back-handed shots, over-the-back goals and artful stick work along with good-hearted ribbing as Everett’s NHL hopefuls made quick work of converting sleek skating skills to fleet foot-work on the Comcast Arena floor.
“I went hard for a quarter than purposely slowed down,” said Stealth assistant coach Jason Bloom, who was awarded Stealth Player of the Game honors on the Dark Squad after playing in his first game since retiring last spring from a six-year NLL career.
“We watch the Tips and cheer for them but it was a lot fun to get out and actually play with them,” said Bloom. “Some of the Tips guys were already talking about next season when we they can get us on the ice.”
In the end, Team White led by Silvertips center Reid Petryk with two goals and two assists and Stealth forward Lewis Ratcliff with four goals and two assists, held on for 20-16 win.
“It was a really good experience,” said Silvertips rookie forward Mitch Skapski, who was named Silvertips Player of the Game after finishing with two goals for the victorious Team White.
“It was funny watching our guys doing the best they could out there, just closing their eyes and trying to hit the net,” he said. “The Stealth guys were great and helped us get going out there.”
With Team Dark leading 6-5, it was Petryk’s goal with just 50 seconds remaining in the half – counting for two points with the handicap allotted to Silvertips players managing to put the ball in the net, that gave Team White its first lead of the night at 7-6.
Including a goal by Stealth captain Kyle Sorensen as time expired in the half, Team White racked-up 10 unanswered goals from 1:55 of the second through the end of the third to forge ahead for their largest lead of the night.
“We out-played ‘em, but just got out-reffed,” said a straight-faced Bloom, whose Team Dark trailed by as much as 11 points when Stealth defender Kyle Buchanan found the net after taking a Petryk pass to make it 17-6 with 2:35 left in the third.
In the fourth with 9:19 to go, the Stealth’s Brett Hickey ignited a six-goal rebound with his second score of the night that eventually brought Team Dark to within three with 4:58 remaining.
After a Team White goal by Tips left winger Dawson Leedahl in the waning minutes of the fourth made it 18-14, former Silvertips captain and current assistant coach Mitch Love brought it to within two, converting a two-point goal to make it 18-16. But Team White iced the game just a minute later to close out the scoring.
“We had a great time and it was an even better feeling that it was all to help out kids,” said Skapski.
The Stealth is in action this Saturday, Feb. 23 for a home matchup with West Division rival Calgary Roughnecks. Game time at Everett’s Comcast Arena is 6:45 p.m. PST. Tickets are available at www.StealthLAX.com .
Following a road game, Friday at Tri-City, the Silvertips return home Wednesday, Feb. 27 for a contest with the Spokane Chiefs. Game time at Everett’s Comcast Arena is 7:05 p.m. PST. Tickets are available at www.EverettSilvertips.com.
Scoring (points*) 1 2 3 4 F
Team Dark 4 2 0 10 16
Team White 1 7 9 3 20
*Two points awarded for each Silvertips goal. One point awarded for each Stealth goal.
The NLL-format game included a two-point handicap for Silvertips hockey players, many of whom were handling a lacrosse stick for the first time. Stealth players were awarded just one point for each goal scored.
Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson was joined by Everett City Councilmember Scott Murphy and Everett PFD President Gary Weikel for the ceremonial ball-drop and official proclamation of Feb. 21, 2013 as “Comcast Arena Classic Day” in the City of Everett.
Nearly 4,000 tickets were distributed to area youth sports organizations including the Everett Boys and Girls Club, Everett Youth Hockey, Seattle Junior Hockey and a dozen youth lacrosse organizations. The clubs sold the tickets with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting their individual organizations.
A rematch is already being planned for next season – only in the game of hockey on the Comcast Arena ice.
Benefitting Youth Sports Organizations
Eastside Catholic School Lacrosse Club
Edmonds Chiefs Lacrosse Club
Edmonds Eagles Lacrosse Club
Everett Boys and Girls Club
Everett Lacrosse Club
Everett Youth Hockey
Mukilteo Lacrosse Club
Northshore Lacrosse Club
North Kitsap Lacrosse
Roosevelt High School Lacrosse Club
South Kitsap lacrosse
Snohomish Lacrosse Club
Seattle Junior Hockey
Skyline Spartans Lacrosse Club
Stanwood Lacrosse Club
University of Washington Men's Lacrosse Club
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