EVERETT, Wash. – Garrett Pilon scored twice and earned the eventual game winner late in the second period, and the Everett Silvertips were able to hang onto the lead to win Game 1 of the Western Conference Championship Series, 3-2 over the Tri-City Americans before 5,181 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena on Friday night.
Connor Dewar chipped in with a goal and an assist while Riley Sutter earned a pair of assists. Carter Hart turned in a 24 save effort while the Tips became the first team to hand Tri-City a loss in the playoffs.
The Silvertips will battle the Americans and aim for a 2-0 series lead in game 2 at home tomorrow, April 21 at 7:05 PM PT (Fox Sports 1380 / WHL Live). Tickets are still available–individual and group tickets, as low as $13, can be purchased at http://everettsilvertips.com/playoffs.
ROUND 3: EVERETT vs TRI-CITY (Everett Leads Series 1-0) COVERAGE
GAME 1: EVERETT 3 – Tri-City 2
GAME 2: at EVERETT | Sat., Apr. 21 – 7:05pm (AOTW Arena) Fox Sports 1380 / FM 95.3 / Tips App
GAME 3: at Tri-City | Mon., Apr. 23 – 7:05pm (Toyota Center) Fox Sports 1380 / FM 95.3 / Tips App
GAME 4: at Tri-City | Thurs., Apr. 26 – 7:05pm (Toyota Center) Fox Sports 1380 / FM 95.3 / Tips App
GAME 5: at EVERETT | Sat., Apr. 28 – 7:05pm (AOTW Arena) ** Fox Sports 1380 / FM 95.3 / Tips App
GAME 6: at Tri-City | Mon., Apr. 30 — 7:05pm (Toyota Center) ** Fox Sports 1380 / FM 95.3 / Tips App
GAME 7: at EVERETT | Tues., May 1 – 7:05pm (AOTW Arena) ** Fox Sports 1380 / FM 95.3 / Tips App
** If necessary
The Tips came out blazing to start the first period as Garrett Pilon fired a rocket past Patrick Dea from the left circle at the 1:05 mark to make it 1-0 Tips; credit to an excellent set-up by Connor Dewar and Riley Sutter. Everett and Tri-City each had one attempt on the power play during the first and neither team scored on the man advantage. Everett doubled their lead at 12:03 as Connor Dewar went in against Dea off a turnover and took a shot, leading to an odd turn of events where Jake Bean knocked the puck in behind his own netminder. Carter Hart stopped all six shots faced in the first.
Dewar took a charging penalty at the 20 minute mark of the first to put the Tips on the penalty kill to begin the second. The Americans were able to cut the lead in half with a snipe by Morgan Geekie at the 47 second mark to make it 2-1. Just three minutes into the second, a too many men on the ice penalty by the Tips turned into Tri-City’s third power play of the game. An uncharacteristic mistake by behind the Tips net led to a wraparound goal by Michael Rasmussen to make it 2-2 at 3:55. Everett had a pair of power plays in the second but were unable to capitalize. At 17:12, a great zone entry and cycle led to Garrett Pilon’s second goal of the night with help from Sean Richards centering pass from the left circle to make it 3-2 Tips.
The third period was about as intense as it gets in regard to playoff hockey. Both teams were full speed and played a complete 200 foot game with very few whistles to kick it off. Both goaltenders stood tall throughout the third. Everett really got their game back in the third period and played extremely well, not letting Tri-City get many opportunities to tie it up. Dea was pulled for the sixth attacker with less than two to go and Everett gave it their all to get an empty net but were unable to get the fourth goal. Tri-City pushed hard in the last 30 seconds but the Tips’ defense did tremendous for the game 1 victory.
BOX SCORE | AUDIO | PHOTOS
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Dawson Butt, Jameson Murray, Luke Ormsby, Kyle Walker and Ty Westgard … Garrett Pilon took the team lead in goals for the playoffs … the Tips earned their first win in the Conference Finals since Game 7 at Kelowna in 2004 … the Tips improved to 9-0 in the playoffs when scoring the first goal of the game.
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