TIPS WIN » Bajkov Buries the Cougars
EVERETT, Wash. – Patrick Bajkov scored a late game winning goal for the second straight game, with 1:22 to play in regulation and help lift the Everett Silvertips to a three-game win streak and 3-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars, before 3,579 fans at XFINITY Arena in WHL action on Friday.
The Silvertips were backstopped by the return of Carter Hart from illness, triumphant in his home debut with 23 stops. Counterpart Tavin Grant kept the Cougars in the balance for much of the game and tied his career high with 47 saves. Connor Dewar, who sealed the game with an empty net goal, added an assist to give the Tips their first win at home since Sept. 24.
Orrin Centazzo opened the scoring when he intercepted an errant Prince George pass between the circles and flushed his third goal of the season, blocker side on Grant at 3:48 of the first period. The Tips outshot the Cougars, 13-4 in the first period but struggled to pull away against Grant and Prince George’s top ranked penalty kill, who snuffed four separate two-man advantages.
The game took a heated turn when Gianni Fairbrother crushed Liam Ryan on an open ice hit in the second period, leading to a fight between the two at 11:39 with Fairbrother connecting on a pair of right haymakers.
Prince George, in the thick of the game, got on the board on Josh Maser’s bid from between the circles at 13:33 for a 1-1 tie.
The Tips, who doubled up the Cougars in shots, finally broke through late in regulation when Matt Fonteyne drove the right wing and successfully connected on a cross-ice pass to Bajkov. The Silvertips leading scorer, stationed at the left circle, buried a snap shot past Grant’s blocker side for a 2-1 lead and sending XFINITY Arena into bedlam.
Prince George, forced to pull Grant, managed several moments of time in the offensive zone. But a Dewar poke-check on Dennis Cholowski at the right point helped Dewar take off behind the defense for an empty net goal with 28 seconds left.
The Silvertips have beaten the Cougars in four of the last five matchups.
SILVERTIPS LINE COMBOS
Richards – Fonteyne – Bajkov
Dewar – Sutter – Kindopp
Centazzo – Vitelli – Ormsby
Hein / Fasko-Rudas
SILVERTIPS DEFENSIVE PAIRS
Fairbrother – Davis
Christiansen – Wylie
K. Walker – I. Walker
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Dawson Butt (injury), Dorrin Luding (healthy), Mark Liwiski (healthy), and Ethan Browne (healthy) Bajkov extended his scoring streak to six straight games and surpassed Zach Hamill for fourth, all-time in Silvertips goals (88) the Silvertips outshot Prince George, 50-24. Matt Fonteyne and Riley Sutter combined to go 30-of-53 for wins at the face-off circle.