By Staci C. – Silvertips staff writer
EVERETT, Wash. – Kevin Davis logged a pair of assists, including the 100th of his Western Hockey League career, and the Everett Silvertips used a trio of first period goals en route to a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds before a sellout crowd of 8,249 at XFINITY Arena on Saturday in WHL action.
With the Silvertips win against the Thunderbirds this evening, they improved to 4-3-1-1 against Seattle this season and seized first place in the U.S. Division with eight games remaining. The Silvertips reduced their magic number to three points to guarantee home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
The first few minutes of the first was a shaky start for Everett as Seattle controlled and kept the game in Everett’s end. At 3:50, Riley Sutter took a tripping penalty and gave Seattle their first power play of the game. Everett’s special teams continued to be sharp, and kept Seattle to minimal scoring chances.
As the penalty was about to expire, Connor Dewar stripped Seattle of the puck and went in all alone for a goal at 5:51, which made the score 1-0.
Less than one minute later, Bryce Kindopp and Lucas Scrumeda set up Devon Skoleski for a solid wrister to make the score 2-0 at 6:50. At 7:48, Tyson Terretta took a tripping penalty, giving the Silvertips their first power play of the game.
Two seconds later, off the faceoff, Kevin Davis got the puck to Riley Sutter for a quick power play goal to make it 3-0. Rylan Toth was chased after Everett’s third goal. Although down 3-0, Seattle continued to press but Everett matched them every step of the way.
At 14:00, Seattle got on the board with a backhand goal from Austin Strand, making it 3-1. At 15:37, Riley Sutter took his second tripping penalty of the game and Seattle went on the power play. The power play ended as Sami Moilanen took an interference penalty at 17:31, which gave the teams 6 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey and then the Tips went on the power play for 1:54. The Tips had some good chances but unable to score. Everett had 14 shots vs. Seattle’s 10 in the first.
The second period was a huge improvement for the Silvertips, as it has been quite a struggle for them as of late. It was essentially all Silvertips, the whole period, but thanks to excellent goaltending by Carl Stankowski, the score remained tight throughout the period. Alexander True and Sean Richards exchanged roughing penalties in a scrum at 8:35 to make it 4-on-4 hockey for two minutes.
The score remained 3-1 but the Tips continued to control the play. At 11:53, Austin Strand took a hooking penalty to give Everett a power play. The Tips looked sharp and generated some chances but Seattle’s netminder stood tall, keeping the score 3-1. At 14:40, Elijah Brown went off for a high stick, giving the Tips another power play. There were some good looks on the power play, but no goals. Everett held Seattle to only one shot the entire second period; Everett had fourteen shots.
The Tips came out swinging to begin the third as Patrick Bajkov scored 53 seconds in to make it 4-1. His helpers were from Dominic Zwerger and Kevin Davis. The Tips continued to look sharp and kept the Birds to minimal shots although the period. At 6:45, Keegan Kolesar went in all alone against Hart and roofed it, to make it 4-2. At 11:43, Kolesar took a holding penalty to give Everett another shot on the power play. Everett did not look as sharp on the power play and did not get many chances.
Just 19 seconds after the Kolesar penalty expired, Nolan Volcan took a roughing penalty, putting Everett back on the power play. At 16:44, Turner Ottenbreit took an elbowing penalty to give Everett a brief 5-on-3 power play. Everett struggled to set up the play during the 5-on-3 and did not capitalize on the 5-on-4 either. With less than a minute left, Seattle pulled for the 6th attacker, but was kept at the perimeter. Seattle had 6 shots vs. Everett’s 12 in the third.
Rylan Toth made 3 saves and Stankowski made 33 saves; Carter Hart made 15 saves for the win.
The Silvertips will return with a game at Spokane on Wednesday, March 8 at 7:05 PM PT (Fox Sports 1380 / WHL Live).
SILVERTIPS LINE COMBOS
96 / ZWERGER 17 / FONTEYNE 8 / BAJKOV
43 / DEWAR 28 / SKOLESKI 19 / KINDOPP
15 / RICHARDS 14 / SUTTER 82 / TUULOLA
18 / HEIN 33 / KING 77 / BABYCH
24 / SKRUMEDA 3 / JUULSEN
23 / CHRISTIANSEN 38 / DAVIS
29 / WYLIE 55 / IRVING
70 / HART
31 / PETIT
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Ian Walker, Montana Onyebuchi, Keith Anderson and Orrin Centazzo … Silvertips are now 39-12-8-3 with 89 points … one regular season game against Seattle remains this season and it is on Friday, March 10, at 7:35pm in Kent.
Silvertips season ticket or mini-plan packages are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/season or by calling (425) 252-5100.
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