SPOKANE, Wash. – Patrick Bajkov ended a frenetic sequence with a game winner just 24 seconds into the sudden death period to elevate the Everett Silvertips to a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory over the Spokane Chiefs before 4,423 fans at Spokane Arena on Friday.
Bajkov’s pair of goals enabled the Silvertips to sweep their three game road trip and seize first place in the U.S. Division, defeating the Chiefs in the opening meeting of the season. The Silvertips survived a wave of four combined goals in the last 10:30 of regulation and a shorthanded game-tying goal by Spokane with 68 seconds to play.
Mario Petit, making his first appearance since opening night on Sept. 23, secured the win with 27 saves. Dominic Zwerger, facing his former club for the first time since a September trade to Everett, delivered a pair of assists and set up the primary helper on Bajkov’s winner.
The Silvertips endured an extremely sluggish first period and despite being outshot 10-4, worked to deliver Brian King’s game opening goal in the second, hammering a rebound past Jayden Sittler at 3:14. The only penalty the Silvertips took to fall shorthanded, a Graham Millar hook, led to a Kailer Yamamoto one-timer from the left circle for a 1-1 tie at 16:02.
Yamamoto then crashed the net to stash his second goal of the game with 10:30 left in the third period to put Spokane ahead, 2-1 but the Silvertips arrived at opportunity after they lost Devon Skoleski to a blindside hit at center ice by Hudson Elynuik, who was issued a five-minute major for charging and game misconduct.
It resulted in a pair of quick strike power play goals for a breathtaking swing of momentum. Zwerger fed Bajkov, who dangled through the Spokane defense at the right circle and fired a snapper past Sittler. Just ten seconds later, Sean Richards fed Noah Juulsen in the slot, who whistled another snap shot past Sittler for a 3-2 lead.
Following the expiration of the major, the Silvertips drew another roughing penalty with 1:46 left to seemingly have the game on ice, until Spokane pulled Sittler for an extra attacker and manufactured a battle along the boards in the Tips zone. Ty Smith gathered a pass at the blueline and fed Markson Bechtold, stationed at the left circle, who drilled the game tying goal through traffic with 1:08 to play.
However, the Silvertips carried the residue of the power play into overtime and Zwerger whipped a pass to Bajkov, stationed at the doorstep, who buried the deflection 24 seconds into overtime to empty the Silvertips bench into celebration.
Sittler made 17 saves in the overtime loss.
The Tips return home tomorrow to face the Seattle Thunderbirds at XFINITY Arena in Everett for the annual Pink The Rink game at 7:05 p.m. (Fox Sports 1380 / WHL Live). Ticket specials are available at http://everettsilvertips.com/pinktherink.
SILVERTIPS LINE COMBOS
96 / ZWERGER 43 / DEWAR 8 / BAJKOV
44 / GERTH 28 / SKOLESKI 22 / MILLAR
15 / RICHARDS 47 / KEMP 33 / KING
11 / CENTAZZO 14 / SUTTER 19 / KINDOPP
23 / CHRISTIANSEN 3 / JUULSEN
29 / WYLIE 5 / ONYEBUCHI
38 / DAVIS 4 / WALKER
31 / PETIT
70 / HART
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Mackenzie Dwyer, Brandson Hein, Matt Fonteyne, Lucas Skrumeda and Eetu Tuulola … the Silvertips improved to 55-53-1-5-2 all-time against Spokane … Dominic Zwerger extended his scoring streak to six consecutive games … Millar collected a point for the eighth time in nine games.
Silvertips season ticket or mini-plan packages are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/season or by calling (425) 252-5100.