EVERETT — Matt Fonteyne knew right away.
Nevertheless, the referees went to the video replay before confirming their on-ice call that Fonteyne’s quick wrister from the slot with less than two seconds to play had indeed bounced off the post.
Just 1.8 seconds later the Regina Pats escaped with a 2-1 Western Hockey League victory over the Everett Silvertips before 4,227 fans Sunday at Xfinity Arena.
“I was hoping it would be a rebound and someone potting it in after that,” said Fonteyne, Everett’s overage co-captain.
Instead the Tips (10-12-1-1, 22 points) suffered a second narrow defeat in as many days in their only matchup this season with the Pats (13-9-2-0, 28 points).
Everett lost 2-0 at Seattle on Saturday after defeating the Thunderbirds 3-2 at home Friday to open their first three-game weekend of the season.
“A lot of credit to our guys — I thought we worked extremely hard,” Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said. “A lot of teams probably would have packed it in and wrote it off as an excuse, but I was really proud of our effort.”
Offense remains a precious commodity for the Silvertips. Sunday’s lone goal came when Patrick Bajkov slammed home a power-play shot from the left circle at 12:10 in the third. That cut Regina’s lead to 2-1.
While that snapped a four-game power-play drought, Everett had other chances, particularly on the man advantage. Riley Sutter missed a backdoor tap-in near the end of the second period, and Everett later squandered a 5-on-3 chance.
Williams was quick not to point a finger at Sutter, a third-year forward who is fifth on the team with eight goals and is expected to be taken in next year’s NHL draft.
“When things are struggling a little bit, that’s what happens,” Williams said. “He obviously didn’t mean to miss it, but you’re a half-second off on everything. And everything gets magnified when it happens like that. When you’re scoring four and five goals a game, and we were for the first 10 games … we wouldn’t even look at that.”
Everett also was playing with a depleted lineup. The Tips began the game without forwards Luke Ormsby (suspension) and Connor Dewar (upper body injury) and dressed just 10 forwards and seven defensemen.
That number dropped to nine forwards after Sean Richards earned a game misconduct penalty in the opening period.
It was not a recipe for success in the tail game of a busy weekend. Nevertheless, the Tips found themselves still in the game in the final seconds.
“I thought our energy was good throughout the game for the most part,” Fonteyne said. “Limited bodies, but still I thought the guys gave everything they had, and (Regina) is a really good team over there so you have to give them credit as well.”
Once again the opening period featured plenty of drama. Everett’s Montana Onyebuchi and Regina’s Bryce Platt dropped the gloves at 3:49.
Regina took the lead at 11:47 in the opening period following a faceoff victory in the Everett zone. Regina’s Josh Mahura threw the puck toward the net from the point, and Carter Hart didn’t secure the shot. Robbie Holmes was at the net front to clean up the rebound and give the Pats a 1-0 lead.
“We have to score more than one goal, as well,” Williams said. “Carter does a lot of great things back there for us … I’m sure if you ask him he’d want them all back as he replays them, and that’s what guys that are pros are able to do. I thought he played a solid game, especially there on the penalty kill. He made a lot of big saves for us.”
Three minutes later, Richards, a former Regina Pat, was given a five-minute major penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct for a check to the head. Richards became the third Silvertip to earn a first-period game misconduct in the past four games.
The Pats pushed the lead to 2-0 at 2:19 in the third period when Jake Leschyshyn tipped a Cale Fleury point shot past Hart.
Hart finished with a career-best 48 saves. Regina’s Tyler Brown saved 38 of Everett’s 39 shots.
The Tips travel to Tri-City Wednesday for a 7:05 p.m. contest at the Toyota Center.
For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.
Pats 2, Silvertips 1
Regina 1 0 1—2
Everett 0 0 1—1
1st Period—1, Regina, Holmes 5 (Mahura, Steel), 11:47. Penalties-Holmes Reg (hooking), 1:38; Platt Reg (major-fighting), 3:49; Onyebuchi Evt (major-fighting), 3:49; Bajkov Evt (slashing), 8:07; Schioler Reg (roughing), 9:39; Wylie Evt (roughing), 9:39; Richards Evt (major – checking to the head, game misconduct), 14:33.
2nd Period—No Scoring.Penalties-Butt Evt (hooking), 2:19; Fonteyne Evt (delay of game), 3:02; Buziak Reg (roughing), 6:09; Wylie Evt (slashing), 7:51; Platt Reg (cross checking), 16:11; served by Holmes Reg (too many men), 17:16.
3rd Period—2, Regina, Leschyshyn 5 (Fleury, Mahura), 2:19. 3, Everett, Bajkov 12 (Davis, Christiansen), 12:10 (PP). Penalties-Creta Reg (tripping), 10:06; Leschyshyn Reg (cross checking), 11:38; Fasko-Rudas Evt (hooking), 14:44; Walker Evt (delay of game), 18:05.
Shots on Goal—Regina 16-15-19-50. Everett 7-13-19-39.
Power Play Opportunities-Regina 0/7; Everett 1/6.
Goalies—Regina, Brown 9-6-2-0 (39 shots-38 saves). Everett, Hart 5-3-0-1 (50 shots-48 saves).