KELOWNA, B.C. — The Everett Silvertips remain in second place in the U.S. Division.
They also remain in control of the race for the division crown.
Dominic Zwerger scored twice and Kevin Davis had a goal and two assists as the Silvertips topped the Kelowna Rockets 4-1 before 5,073 fans Wednesday at Prospera Place.
The Tips (42-16-8-3, 95 points) kept pace with the Seattle Thunderbirds who beat the Spokane Chiefs 4-2 on the road Wednesday. The T-birds remain first in the division with 96 points, but the Tips continue to hold a game in hand.
Carter Hart recorded 26 saves on 27 Kelowna shots as the Tips bounced back from Sunday’s meltdown at Portland in which a 3-1 third-period lead quickly evaporated into a stunning 4-3 loss to the Winterhawks.
Everett scored first and took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
The Tips pushed it to 3-1 at 8:38 in the second. Matt Fonteyne won a faceoff in the Kelowna zone and the puck got played to Zwerger who buried the wrister past a screened Michael Herringer for the two-goal lead.
Everett killed off two big penalties in the final period and iced the victory with Zwerger’s second goal of the game, this one of the empty-net variety at 18:54 in the third.
The Tips opened the scoring when Davis beat Kelowna goalie Michael Herringer on Everett’s first power play at 5:30 in the first period.
But the Rockets answered on the very next shift as Dillon Dube waited out Everett goalie Carter Hart from the bottom of the left circle and flicked a wrister over Hart’s shoulder to tie the game 1-1 at 5:41.
Aaron Irving regained the lead for the Tips with a shot through traffic at 9:26. It was Irving’s first game action in a week as he missed all three games last weekend due to an upper body injury.
Special teams were critical in Everett’s success. The Tips scored on their first power-play opportunity and were a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill against a Rockets team that is third in the WHL on the man advantage.
The Tips continue the final week of the regular season at 7:05 p.m. on Friday at Victoria.
Silvertips 4, Rockets 1
Everett 2 1 1 — 4
Kelowna 1 0 0 — 1
1st Period—1, Everett, Davis 8 (Christiansen, Bajkov), 5:30 (PP). 2, Kelowna, Dube 20 (Twarynski, Johansen), 5:41. 3, Everett, Irving 18 (Babych), 9:26. Penalties—Bruggen-Cate Kel (inter. on goaltender), 4:58; Dewar Evt (delay of game), 19:34.
2nd Period—4, Everett, Zwerger 27 (Davis, Fonteyne), 8:38. Penalties—Hilsendager Kel (checking from behind), 1:57; Anderson Evt (hooking), 5:30; Wylie Evt (holding), 14:57; Twarynski Kel (interference), 15:54; Skrumeda Evt (high sticking), 18:45.
3rd Period—5, Everett, Zwerger 28 (Skoleski), 18:54 (EN). Penalties—Bajkov Evt (inter. on goaltender), 9:39.
Shots on Goal—Everett 12-7-10-29. Kelowna 11-11-5-27.
Power Play Opportunities—Everett 1 / 3; Kelowna 0 / 5.
Goalies—Everett, Hart 30-11-6-2 (27 shots-26 saves). Kelowna, Herringer 31-15-3-0 (28 shots-25 saves).