EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips and Moose Jaw Warriors each entered their annual contest looking to break a two-game losing streak.
Unfortunately for Everett it was the Warriors, ranked ninth in this week’s CHL poll, who broke their streak with a 6-3 win over the Silvertips before 4,178 fans at Xfinity Arena.
Moose Jaw (8-3-0, 16 points) received two goals and two assists from Brett Howden, and two goals and an assist from Noah Gregor.
“We have to continue to challenge ourselves to play a complete 60 (minutes),” Everett head coach Dennis Williams said. “(Moose Jaw’s) two top lines are some of the best I’ve seen and they can score and make plays. But again, we had our fair share of opportunities to put them behind the eight-ball and we just didn’t bury them.”
Everett (4-8-1, nine points) got two goals from Sean Richards and two assists from Patrick Bajkov as the Tips dropped their second straight home game.
It was the first WHL career multi-goal game for Richards who was a healthy scratch in Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Tri-City.
“It wasn’t just his goals,” Williams said. “I thought he did a really nice job of tracking pucks, working hard, competing for pucks and blocking pucks, and played a good 200-foot game.”
Everett trailed 5-2 through two periods, but Richards cut the deficit to two at 1:09 in the third when his wrister from the slot resulted in his second goal of the night.
The Tips had several chances to pull closer. Matt Fonteyne was awarded a penalty shot at 12:30 in the third, but didn’t convert. Less than 90 second’s later, Everett native Wyatte Wylie’s first WHL goal was waved off due to goaltender interference.
Instead, Howden clinched the game with a short-handed empty-netter at 18:02.
The Warriors took control with a four-goal second period.
Brayden Burke broke a 1-1 tie at 4:38 when he collected a stretch pass at the Everett blue line and missed the net with his initial shot. However, the puck came right back to him off the end boards and he scored on the second opportunity.
Fonteyne re-tied the game for Everett 58 seconds later when he stashed a behind-the-net feed from Bajkov.
That tie was short-lived. Howden beat Dorrin Luding with a backhand shot at 10:50 to regain the lead for Moose Jaw, and Justin Almeida pushed the lead to 4-2 when he crashed the net and buried the rebound.
That was it for Luding. He was replaced by 15-year-old Blake Lyda, who surrendered Gregor’s second goal of the game on the first shot he faced at 13:57 as the Warriors lead swelled to 5-2.
It was stunning turnaround from what was a strong start by the Silvertips.
“We seem to have a (five-)minute lapse where they always seem to capitalize with two or three goals quick,” Williams said. “But we have to keep looking at ourselves and keep working at ways to win a hockey game.”
Richards gave the Tips a 1-0 lead with a wrister from the slot at 6:01 in the opening period. Everett had several chances to add to the advantage, but Moose Jaw goaltender Adam Evanoff fended off several point-blank chances.
Moose Jaw drew even at 19:04 when Howden circled behind the net and fed Gregor at the front of the net. Gregor flicked the puck past Luding to make it 1-1.
“Our opportunities are there, especially in the first,” Williams said. “I thought we had the opportunity to put two or three up and separate ourselves. We gotta continue to work on finishing those opportunities and changing angles, and we gotta work defensively as well.”
Everett held a 48-33 shot advantage, but finished 0-for-7 on the power play. Evanoff finished with 45 saves.
The Tips return to action at 4:05 p.m. Sunday when they play host to the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Warriors 6, Silvertips 3
Moose Jaw 1 4 1 — 6
Everett 1 1 1 — 3
1st Period—1, Everett, Richards 2 (Davis, Vitelli), 7:20. 2, Moose Jaw, Gregor 6 (Howden, Halbgewachs), 19:04. Penalties—Paradis Mj (unsportsmanlike cnd., major-fighting), 13:34; Dewar Evt (unsportsmanlike cnd., major-fighting), 13:34.
2nd Period—3, Moose Jaw, Burke 6 (Benson), 4:38. 4, Everett, Fonteyne 8 (Bajkov, Davis), 5:36. 5, Moose Jaw, Howden 3 (Gregor), 10:50 (PP). 6, Moose Jaw, Almeida 6 (Burzan), 11:37. 7, Moose Jaw, Gregor 7 (Howden), 13:57. Penalties—Zaitsev Mj (tripping), 1:28; Benson Mj (boarding), 5:05; Hein Evt (hooking), 10:02.
3rd Period—8, Everett, Richards 3 (Bajkov), 1:09. 9, Moose Jaw, Howden 4 18:02 (SH). Penalties—Benson Mj (cross checking), 8:27; Jeannot Mj (slashing), 18:02.
Shots on Goal—Moose Jaw 13-15-5-33. Everett 15-13-20-48.
Power Play Opportunities—Moose Jaw 1 / 3; Everett 0 / 6.
Goalies—Moose Jaw, Evanoff 2-0-0-0 (48 shots-45 saves). Everett, Luding 3-6-0-0 (21 shots-17 saves); Lyda 0-0-1-0 (12 shots-10 saves).