Sports

Marysville’s 20-year-old beauties

Travis Sherer/Staff Photo Zack Dailey calls for the puck from teammate, and roommate, Shane Harper during an offensive drill at the Silvertips’ practice. The two are billeted at Marysville resident Dana Nyland’s house. - Travis Sherer
Travis Sherer/Staff Photo Zack Dailey calls for the puck from teammate, and roommate, Shane Harper during an offensive drill at the Silvertips’ practice. The two are billeted at Marysville resident Dana Nyland’s house.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

EVERETT — Zack Dailey and Shane Harper know their roles both on the ice and off of it.

That should be expected of teammates of five years, but not all teammates are friends. Dailey and Harper are so fond of each other, however, that they are roommates this season.

“We’ve been pretty much best friends,” said Harper, 20. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

When the two aren’t playing in front of 8,000 fans at Comcast Arena as starters on the Everett Silvertips, they can be seen around Marysville.

“We know the town pretty well,” said Dailey, 20. “When we go to eat somewhere or to the movies, we stay in Marysville.”

They have been billeted with Marysville resident Dana Nyland after Harper, who had stayed with Nyland the previous season, asked to make Dailey his roommate.

“I love having them here,” Nyland said. “They are so much fun together — they like to tease each other.”

It’s easy to see the camaraderie between the two, as they take shots at each other about most things, whether it be about playing Guitar Hero or setting Silvertips records. They are at the top of the most games played by a Silvertip with Harper playing 310 and Dailey at 306.

“I would have more (than Harper) if they counted playoff games,” said Dailey, who is originally from Alaska and has been a fan favorite since starting in the 2005-06 season.

Silvertips coach Craig Hartsburg attributed Dailer’s height, 5-6, and his fearless play as making him well liked by both the fans and his teammates. Nyland said that off the ice, Dailer is one of those people that is easily likable as well.

“He’s such a nice kid and so smart, when he’s sitting in the kitchen, you just want to talk to him,” she said. “And he really opens Shane up.”

As a billet, Nyland, 50, is given a stipend for groceries and invited to team functions and honored during game nights.

“They are so important,” said Hartsburg about billets. “Junior hockey just wouldn’t be possible without billets. It’s a un-praised and sometimes thankless job, but we count on them for so much.”

Nyland, who is retired and a hockey fan, just wants to help people.

“I don’t do this to have an in with the team,” said Nyland, a season-ticket holder who has been billeting since the Silvertips’ inaugural season in 2004. “I think of it as a job and responsibility to take care of them. When I watch hockey, I watch for the game, but when they do something good, I’m cheering louder than everybody else.”

And that is often. Recently the two have been put on the same line together and that has yielded a six-game winning streak.

“We have been playing together for a while,” Dailey said. “We know how the other one plays. I kind of have to do the dirty work and he scores the goals.”

Harper, who is from California, is on pace to capture both the season and career marks for goals scored, and owns the longest streak of consecutive games played at 189.

“That would be really cool if it happens,” said Harper about breaking the franchise records. “But it doesn’t really matter so much as winning.”

Along with fellow 20-year-old Chris Langkow, Harper and Dailey are known as the DHL because they always deliver.

“That’s what the other guys call us,” Dailey said modestly.

What they call themselves, however, is the 20-year-old beauties. In hockey, a beauty is a good guy to be around.

“We think that we’re the most fun guys on the team,” Dailey said. “Others might not agree, but that’s what we think.”

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