By Staci C. – Silvertips Staff Writer
EVERETT, Wash. – A goal by Josh Curtis stood as the difference as the Everett Silvertips fell to the Prince George Cougars for the first time this season in a nail biter, 4-3 at XFINITY Arena before 5,323 fans on Friday night in the Throwback Classic.
Tonight’s loss was only the third time the Silvertips have lost in regulation at home this season. Everett is now 17-3-1-0 at home.
Although the Silvertips fell to the Cougars this evening, they are 3-1-0-0 against Prince George for the regular season and outscored them 16-7 in those four games.
Early into the game, the Cougars came out flying and Jansen Harkins roofed a puck past Mario Petit 1:02 into the first period to make it 0-1 Cougars. Prince George generated a lot of chances within the first ten minutes of the game and did not give Everett a lot of space which resulted in Everett producing zero scoring chances at that time. Eetu Tuulola went off for a tripping penalty at 7:01 but the penalty kill units and Petit stayed sharp to keep the Cougars from doubling the score.
The game seemed to settle down when the Cougars took two penalties resulting in a minute long 5-on-3 and the Tips got back in the groove and began generating scoring chances. The penalties were Yan Khomenko 12:32 for tripping and a bench minor served by Brad Morrison at 13:31. Everett did not generate a shot on goal until the 13 minute mark of the first period and ended the period with five shots vs. Prince George’s eight.
The second period started out with another quick roofed goal by Jansen Harkins at the 1:04 mark. Briefly after the goal, Wyatt Wylie took an interference penalty at the 1:19 mark and Prince George’s power play ended a minute later when Khomenko took an interference penalty. The 4-on-4 for one minute saw a lot of fast, open ice, end-to-end hockey. Thanks to brilliant passing by Conor Dewar and Kevin Davis, Matt Fonteyne was able to cut the Cougars’ lead in half at the 9:19 mark.
At 11:39, Tate Olson went to the box as he high sticked Eetu Tuulola and drew blood, which lead to a four minute, double minor, power play for Everett. Two minutes into the power play, Patrick Bajkov and Kevin Davis set up Dominic Zwerger for the tying goal at 13:48. A scrum less than one minute later ended up with Harkins getting two charging minors, Connor Dewar with a checking from behind minor and Montana Onyebuchi with a roughing minor, but the teams remained at full strength on the ice.
Right at the beginning of the third period, Prince George’s Jesse Gabrielle took a tripping penalty at the 1:33 mark that gave Everett a power play. At 2:16, Fonteyne got the power play goal for the tie breaker with help from Bajkov and Davis to make it 3-2. After several quick scoring chances for Everett, Prince George got a break down the ice and Brendan Guhle was able to tie the game back at 3-3 at 4:15. The next ten minutes of the game saw excellent defense by both Prince George and Everett, with very limited scoring chances by either team.
At 11:54 Connor Dewar took a holding penalty and thanks to sensational defense and goaltending, the game remained 3-3 and the penalty was killed. 22 seconds after the big kill, Prince George took the lead with a weird bounce by Josh Curtis.
The Tips got some chances with the remaining minutes, including a power play at 14:53 due to a trip by Sam Ruopp, but Ty Edmunds was solid. Mario Petit was pulled for the sixth attacker with less than a minute to go, but the Tips were unable to break through and fell to Prince George, 3-4.
Mario Petit’s counterpart, Ty Edmonds, made 17 saves.
The Silvertips will return with a game at Seattle on Friday, January 6 at 7:35 PM PT (Fox Sports 1380 / WHL Live).
SILVERTIPS LINE COMBOS
96 / ZWERGER 17 / FONTEYNE 8 / BAJKOV
22 / MILLAR 28 / SKOLESKI 82/ TUULOLA
43 / DEWA 14 / SUTTER 33 / KING
11 / CENTAZZO 47 / KEMP 19 / KINDOPP
24 / SKRUMEDA 38 / DAVIS
23 / CHRISTIANSEN 5 / ONYEBUCHI
29 / WYLIE 4 / WALKER
31 / PETIT
35 / LUDING
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Carter Hart, Noah Juulsen, Brandson Hein, Bradly Goethals, and Gianni Fairbrother. The Silvertips are now 34-18-3-2 against the Cougars. Silvertips remain in first place in the U.S. Division and are now tied with Prince George for top record in the WHL. Kevin Davis’ three assists extended his scoring streak to 11 games, a Silvertips season best. Dominic Zwerger matched his season high 10 game scoring streak. The Silvertips have 56 points in 36 games, second best in franchise history (2006-07 team had 61 points).
Silvertips season ticket or mini-plan packages are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/season or by calling (425) 252-5100.
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