EVERETT, Wash. – Patrick Bajkov capped a two-goal game on a highlight-reel game winner with 29.8 seconds left in regulation and goaltender Dustin Wolf made 44 saves in his second career start, helping lift the Everett Silvertips to a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks before 3,600 fans at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in WHL action on Sunday.
The Silvertips swept through the brief two-game trip and handed Portland their third straight loss, getting first period goals by Bajkov and Matt Fonteyne to overcome an early Portland first period goal. Portland, averaging a league high 40 shots per game, outshot the Tips 44-26 but were also held to an 0-of-3 clip on the power play.
The Tips also held Portland’s top line, of Skyler McKenzie, Cody Glass and Kieffer Bellows, to a combined one point and minus-2 rating.
Lane Gilliss converted off blown coverage at the net with a backhanded goal, 2:02 into the game but the Tips responded on Matt Fonteyne’s rebound goal, 7:42 into the first after Kevin Davis fired a right point shot off Cole Kehler’s pads for a 1-1 tie.
Bajkov followed by netting his sixth goal of the year off the rush, converting Kyle Walker’s drop pass and beating Kehler with a snap shot at the right circle for a 2-1 lead with 8:21 to play.
Wolf then took over, turning away 14 shots in the first period and an array of chances on 16 shots in the second period – showcased by two point blank saves on Kieffer Bellows and Jake Gricius.
Bellows then leveled the score, 2-2 at 9:37 of the third period when he got into the shooting lane and got a piece of Matthew Quigley’s bid from the left circle. But the Silvertips turned momentum back in their favor with lengthy shifts in the Portland zone, late in regulation.
Their game winner came after Dustin Wolf turned away a blast by Joachim Blichfeld with his blocker, leaving Bajkov to race with the puck out of the zone. Bajkov dangled past a defender at the left circle, went to the backhand near the goal line, and tucked a forehand turn inside the post to send the Silvertips bench into bedlam.
Kehler took the loss on 23 saves.
SILVERTIPS LINE COMBOS
Richards – Fonteyne – Bajkov
Dewar – Sutter – Kindopp
Centazzo – Browne – Fasko-Rudas
Liwiski – Vitelli
SILVERTIPS DEFENSIVE PAIRS
Fairbrother – Davis
Christiansen – Wylie
Walker – I. Walker
BOX SCORE | AUDIO
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Brandson Hein (healthy), Carter Hart (illness), Dawson Butt (injury), and Pavel Azhgirei (healthy) … Bajkov extended his scoring streak to five straight games and also broke a three-game goal scoring drought … Davis has points in 12 of the last 13 games … the Tips leveled their series record to 1-1-0-0 against Portland … Kyle Walker collected the first point in his WHL career.