KENNEWICK — It was a high five for the Everett Silvertips on Friday night.
Everett extended its winning streak to five games as they knocked off the Tri-City Americans 4-2. The five-game winning streak matches Everett’s longest of the season, which took place in late November.
Matt Fonteyne, Ivan Nikolishin and Logan Aasman scored goals, then Brayden Low added a late empty-netter for Everett (35-23-7-2), which in its past eight games has taken 15 of a possible 16 points.
Austin Lotz made 32 saves to earn the win in goal for the Tips, who held their position in the WHL’s Western Conference playoff race. Everett remained one point behind fifth-place Spokane, which scored four times in the third period to rally from a 2-0 deficit and beat Prince George 4-2. The Tips moved seven points clear of Vancouver for sixth place as the Giants were idle. All three teams have five games remaining.
Justin Gutierrez and Lucas Nickles scored for Tri-City (28-31-3-5), which is holding onto the conference’s eighth-and-final playoff berth, leading Prince George by four points. Eric Comrie finished with 34 saves in net for the Americans.
Everett got off to the perfect start, taking a 1-0 lead just 1 minute, 14 seconds into the game as Fonteyne was able to slip a backhander under Comrie. The Tips controlled play the remainder of the period, outshooting Tri-City 18-11 and creating several good scoring chances, but the Americans tied it up with less than a minute remaining. Gutierrez spun away from the defense, drove toward goal and fired into the far corner, knotting it at 1-1 with 52 seconds remaining.
Everett continued to control play in the second period, and the Tips surged to a 3-1 lead. Nikolishin gave Everett the lead again at 8:30 on the power play, converting a back-door feed from Joshua Winquist. Then Aasman gave the Tips a two-goal lead at 18:31 as his shot off the rush deflected past Comrie.
The Americans scored in the final minute of a period and picked up the pressure in the third, outshooting Everett 15-9. But the Tips absorbed the pressure, and Low scored into the empty net with 12 seconds remaining to clinch the victory.
Silvertips 4, Tri-City 2
First Period—1, Everett. Fonteyne 4 (Pufahl), 1:14. 2, Tri-City, Gutierrez 3 (Astles, Playfair), 19:08. Penalties—Playfair, Tri-City (tripping), 9:04.
Second Period—3, Everett, Nikolishin 17 (Winquist, Khaira), 8:30 (pp). 4, Everett, Aasman 3 (Jones, Pufahl), 18:31. 5, Tri-City, Nickles 17 (Plutnar, T. Comrie), 19:44. Penalties—Laurencelle, Everett (fighting), 3:35; Hillis, Tri-City (fighting), 3:35; Gutierrez, Tri-City (hooking), 8:00; Thrower, Tri-City (elbowing), 9:16; Betker, Everett (tripping), 14:54.
Third Period—6, Everett, Low 8, 19:48 (en). Penalties—Nickles, Tri-City (goaltender interference), 3:13; Bajkov, Everett (hooking), 7:11.
Shots on goal—Everett 18-11-9—38. Tri-City 11-8-15—34. Power-play opportunities—Everett 1 of 4. Tri-City 0 of 2.
Goalies—Everett, Lotz 27-18-3-2 (34 shots, 32 saves). Tri-City, E. Comrie 25-25-3-5 (37 shots, 34 saves).