SPOKANE – The Everett Silvertips came back from 2-0 down in the third period to gain a point Saturday night, but remain winless against the Spokane Chiefs this season after a 3-2 overtime loss at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The ‘Tips and Chiefs are now tied for second place in the U.S. Division with 52 points, just two points behind the Portland Winterhawks for the division lead.
Jujhar Khaira scored one of Everett’s goals and set up the other by Carson Stadnyk in the contest to help the Silvertips even the score at two in the third period. Austin Lotz (16-10-2-1) was busy in goal with 37 saves, the most he’s made in a game this year. Mike Aviani scored the game-winning goal on a feed from Mitch Holmberg less than a minute into overtime.
The teams combined for 29 first period shots, 19 for the Chiefs and 10 for the ‘Tips, but neither team could get on the board as the first 20 minutes ended scoreless. Everett killed off one full Spokane powerplay and one partial and was unable to score on one abbreviated powerplay of its own.
Both teams missed on two powerplays in the second frame as the game stayed 0-0. After the Chiefs had the better scoring chances in the first, the Silvertips had more close calls and outshot Spokane 11-7 in the second. Jujhar Khaira had Everett’s best opportunity as he split the defense for a breakaway, but goaltender Eric Williams made the save as the game remained scoreless into the third.
The Chiefs ended the stalemate with two quick powerplay goals early in the third period. The first came at 1:09 on a carry-over powerplay from the second period, with Mike Aviani poking a loose puck under Austin Lotz and into the net. Everett took another penalty on that play, leading to Jason Fram’s goal on a shot from the left boards at 2:01.
The Silvertips countered on a good shift just over two minutes later, with Stadnyk ripping home a centering feed from Khaira in the low slot to get Everett on the board. The score remained 2-1 until the ‘Tips received a four-minute powerplay later in the third period, when Josh Winquist hit the post with a hard shot before Khaira tapped the rebound into an open net on the weak side to tie the game.
Spokane made the big play only 56 seconds into overtime however, as Aviani went hard to the front of the net and banged in a cross-ice pass from Holmberg to give the Chiefs a 3-2 overtime victory. Eric Williams (22-9-0-1) stopped 29 shots in the win as Spokane finished with a 40-31 shot advantage. The Silvertips converted 1 of 5 powerplay chances, while the Chiefs finished 2 for 6.
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The Silvertips will now prepare for their first home game of 2014, with the Portland Winterhawks set to invade Comcast Arena Wednesday night at 7:05 pm. The ‘Tips then play another home-and-home weekend set, hosting the Tri-City Americans Friday at 7:35 pm in Everett before traveling to the Tri-Cities for the rematch on Saturday night.
Silvertips mini-game plans and six-game packs for the 2013-14 WHL season are available now at the team office. Visit our website or call 425-252-5100 for more information. To keep up with all the latest team news, “like” the Everett Silvertips Hockey Club on Facebook or follow @WHLSilvertips on Twitter.