By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips let one slip away Wednesday night.
Everett was unable to hold a two-goal lead with less than six minutes remaining in regulation and fell 6-5 in overtime to the Regina Pats in a wild encounter at Comcast Arena.
Everett seemed home free when Tyler Sandhu’s third goal of the game midway through the third period gave the Tips a 5-3 lead.
But Dryden Hunt and Dmitry Sinitsyn scored down the stretch to get Regina into overtime, then Dyson Stevenson got the game winner in OT.
And although the Tips salvaged a point by getting the game into overtime, running their streak of games earning at least one point to six, Everett knows it surrendered another point that was there for the taking.
“When you’re up 5-3 it’s always a tough one to swallow when you lose,” said Sandhu, who’s second career hat trick proved small consolation. “But it’s a learning process, and I think with this we learned we can’t give up leads. We’re just going to take that into the next couple games and remember this game.”
Hunt finished with two goals, while Maximilian Kammerer and Boston Leier each added one for the Pats (12-10-0-0), who also rallied to tie the score after trailing 3-1. Dawson MacAuley earned the win in goal with 20 saves.
“It was awesome, getting down two goals and coming back,” Stevenson said. “It’s a good feeling. We obviously didn’t play our best at the start of the game, but we worked hard to come back and got us the victory.”
Matt Pufahl and Carson Stadnyk scored the other goals for Everett (14-3-4-0), and Joshua Winquist added three assists for the Tips, who have played three straight overtime games, dropping two of those. Daniel Cotton made 15 saves in net for Everett.
It seemed Everett had thwarted Regina’s comeback attempt. After the Pats rallied to tie it at 3-3 in the second, the Tips restored their two-goal lead in the third, with Stadnyk ripping a shot in off the post on a two-on-one at 4 minutes, 3 seconds, then Sandhu turning in Jujhar Khaira’s centering feed at 11:18.
But Regina’s forecheck gave Everett fits throughout the game’s second half, and it played a big role in turning it around. Hunt got the Pats back within one at 14:29, putting a shot into the far corner from one knee despite being tripped by Tips defenseman Ben Betker. Betker then took an interference penalty with 2:00 remaining, and Sinitsyn converted when his shot from the point tipped past Cotton.
Finally in overtime, Regina’s forecheck caused Everett to turn the puck over while trying to exit the defensive zone. Sinitsyn fed the puck toward the net, where it deflected into the net off Stevenson’s skate to end it 1:11 into the extra period.
“We’d been going over our forecheck and it worked really well tonight,” Stevenson said about the winning goal. “They turned it over there, and our defenseman, who’s a really smart player, just threw it on net, and it kind of went off a couple skates and found its way to the back of the net.”
Said Sandhu: “They’re a good hockey team. They work hard and make good plays. We were trying to find ways to work around that and try to find our own ways to get by it. We’re just going to learn from it and hopefully we’ll be better Friday (when Everett entertains Portland in a big U.S. Division showdown).”
Everett had the advantage in power plays and puck possession in the first period, but the Tips had difficulty converting that into quality scoring chances. Then Regina grabbed the lead at 12:06. Stevenson’s shot from the left point was blocked in the slot, but Hunt found the loose puck and put a backhander around Cotton to give the Pats a 1-0 lead.
The game then came alive in the second as both teams went on scoring spurts.
Everett scored three times in the first 5:03 of the period to seemingly take control of the game. Sandhu put in a rebound at 0:24, Pufahl beat MacAuley with a one-timer from the point on a five-on-three power play at 1:55, and Sandhu scored on another rebound at 5:03 to give the Tips a sudden 3-1 lead.
But Regina found the net twice in 27 seconds midway through the period to tie it back up. Kammerer banked a shot in off Cotton from a tight angle at 10:25, then on the following shift Leier finished off a tic-tac-toe move in transition at 10:52, making it 3-3.
Everett had goaltender Austin Lotz back in uniform Wednesday. He has been out since suffering a twisted ankle Oct. 26 in Kamloops. Lotz served as Cotton’s back-up. … Regina played without its second-leading scorer, winger Chandler Stephenson. Stephenson was handed a two-game suspension by the league for his checking-to-the-head penalty Sunday against Portland. … Regina has two players who were once Everett property, but neither defenseman Tye Hand (upper-body injury) nor winger Geordie Maguire (healthy scratch) dressed Wednesday.
Pats 6, Silvertips 5 (OT)
Regina 1 2 2 1 — 6
Everett 0 3 2 0 — 5
First Period—1, Regina, Hunt 2 (Stevenson), 12:06. Penalties—Wagner, Regina (goaltender interference), 5:59; Mumby, Regina (holding), 8:41.
Second Period—2, Everett, Sandhu 7 (Winquist, Hayer), 0:24. 3, Everett, Pufahl 7 (Winquist, Nikolishin), 1:55 (pp). 4, Everett, Sandhu 8 (Juulsen, Winquist), 5:03. 5, Regina, Kammerer 1 (Christoffer, Sinitsyn), 10:25. 6, Regina, Leier 14 (Stevenson, Klimchuk), 10:52. Penalties—McCoy, Regina (kneeing), 1:23; Christoffer, Regina (high sticking), 1:23; Khaira, Everett (high sticking), 16:29; Zgraggen, Regina (unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00; Pufahl, Everett (unsportsmnalike conduct), 20:00.
Third Period—7, Everett, Stadnyk 6 (Davis, Low), 4:03. 8, Everett, Sandhu 9 (Khaira, Bauml), 11:18. 9, Regina, Hunt 3 (Gay, Sinitsyn), 14:29. Penalties—Betker, Everett (interference), 18:00.
Overtime— 11, Regina, Stevenson 11 (Sinitsyn), 1:11. Penalties—none.
Shots on goal—Regina 6-6-8-1—21. Everett 7-11-7-0—25. Power-play opportunities—Regina 1 of 2. Everett 1 of 4.
Goalies—Regina, MacAuley 12-7-0-0 (25 shots, 20 saves). Everett, Cotton 5-1-3-0 (21 shots, 15 saves).
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.