Sports

‘Tips taking it to the streets

EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips are giving their fans a chance to take center stage — across the street from the Comcast Arena.

The parking lot on the corner of Hewitt and Lombard avenues will host the first Everett Silvertips Street Hockey Tournament July 17.

“We were just trying to find ways to stay relevant in the summertime around the county, both in fitness and in staying active outside and this was a clear option,” said Jon Rosen, director of broadcasting and public relations for the Western Hockey League team based in Everett.

And the response has been positive, with the adults classification (ages 18 and older) having almost too many teams, while the children’s teams are right on the cusp. The adult bracket will likely be split up into two divisions with the winner of each playing for the title, while the ages 9-12 and 13-17 divisions will have a round-robin style tournament.

Rosen said he wasn’t surprised, as the ‘Tips knew that there was a hockey community in Snohomish County.

“We know there are a lot of people out there that play hockey in Snohomish County and we’re trying to sort of model this after the success that Hoopfest has had over in Spokane,” Rosen said. “Obviously, it’s not anything like that, but we know there is enough of a hockey population to make this a popular summer event after the Fourth (of July).”

So far teams from as far as Seattle have entered, which is what the Silvertips expected, being in the first year of the tournament, but they’d like it to someday be a summer destination for out-of-state competitors.

“That’s what we’re hoping,” said director of game operations Rob Ramsburgh. “Right now they’re all localized, but hopefully that expands in the coming years.”

The parking lot will be broken down into three rinks and teams of as many as six will play 20 minute games with penalties being decided by penalty shots.

“We’re definitely going for an entertaining format that will keep games moving and all the fans and players attention,” said Ramsburgh who estimated seeing a few hundred people at the event.

Prizes will be handed out to the winners of each bracket with the adult team winning a suite at the home opener while the kids groups win tours of the locker rooms and ice access pregame. All contestants get a free ticket to opening night.

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