KENT — Last season the Everett Silvertips earned a playoff spot by beating the Seattle Thunderbirds in their final game of the season.
It may not have been the final game this season, but victory over Seattle may again prove to be the decisive points for Everett.
The Tips came up with a vital victory Saturday as they rallied to defeat Seattle 4-3.
Tyler Sandhu scored twice, and Dawson Leedahl put home the winning goal with less than three minutes remaining as Everett gave its playoff chances a huge boost. The Tips moved back within one point of Seattle for seventh place in the Western Conference. Perhaps more importantly, Everett maintained its four-point advantage over ninth-place Prince George, which scored an upset 3-2 shootout victory at Tri-City on Saturday.
One week remains in the regular season. Everett and Seattle both have three games remaining, Prince George has five. Two of those three teams will make the playoffs.
Reid Petryk also scored for Everett (24-39-2-4), while Austin Lotz earned the win in goal with 28 saves.
Luke Lockhart, Connor Honey and Shea Theodore scored for Seattle (23-37-7-2). Brandon Glover made 27 saves in net for the T-birds.
The game ended on a sour note with several heated moments, precipitated by a five-minute major penalty for charging by Seattle defenseman Evan Wardley and a goalie fight.
The score was tied 2-2 going into the third when the game heated up. Everett took the lead on the power play at 12 minutes, 39 seconds, Sandhu getting his second of the game when he banged in a rebound. But Seattle tied it a mere eight seconds later when Theodore skated past the defense and fired past Lotz.
Everett then got the game winner with 2:57 remaining. During a delayed penalty, Leedahl was just able to poke the puck under Glover to give Everett the lead.
The teams traded short-handed goals in the first period. Seattle struck first at 6:36 as Lockhart used the defender as a screen to beat Lotz off the rush. Then Petryk answered at 16:23, beating Glover off the rush.
Seattle regained the lead 1:13 into the second period, Honey scoring on a wraparound. But Everett tied it again at 11:32. Sandhu sprung Kohl Bauml on a breakaway, and although Bauml was denied by Glover, Sandhu followed up and put in the rebound to make it 2-2.
Silvertips 4, Thunderbirds 3
Everett 1 1 2 — 4
Seattle 1 1 1 — 3
First Period—1, Seattle, Lockhart 23, 6:36 (sh). 2, Everett, Petryk 15, 16:23 (sh). Penalties—Soumelidis, Everett (fighting), 3:44; Elliot, Seattle (fighting), 3:44; Sanvido, Seattle (slashing), 6:19; Green, Seattle (cross checking), 11:31; Leedahl, Everett (cross checking-fighting), 15:33; Wardley, Seattle (fighting), 15:33.
Second period—3, Seattle, Honey 15 (Swenson), 1:13. 2, Everett, Sandhu 15 (Bauml, Mueller), 11:32. Penalties—Sandhu, Everett (embellishment), 12:07; Foulk, Everett (hooking), 12:07; Kambeitz, Seattle (high sticking), 12:07.
Third Period—5, Everett, Sandhu 16 (Winquist, Oslanski), 12:39 (pp). 6, Seattle, Theodore 18 (Kambeitz), 12:47. 7, Everett, Leedahl 3 (Oslanski, Cox), 17:03. Penalties—Glover, Seattle (delay of game), 10:52; Lotz, Everett (fighting), 18:22; Mappin, Everett (slashing-roughing), 18:22; Glover, Seattle (instigator-fighting-game misconduct), 18:22; Kambeitz, Seattle (10-minute misconduct), Wardley, Seattle (major-charging-game misconduct), 18:22; Mueller, Everett (interference), 18:33; Winquist, Everett (roughing), 19:30; Lipsbergs, Seattle (goaltender interference), 19:30.
Shots on goal—Everett 7-14-10—31. Seattle 8-9-14—31. Power-play opportunities—Everett 1 of 5. Seattle 0 of 1.
Goalies—Everett, Lotz 15-18-2-1 (31 shots, 28 saves). Seattle, Glover 22-28-5-2 (31 shots, 27 saves).