MEDICINE HAT, Alberta — No one seems capable of stopping Joshua Winquist right now, not even the best team in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.
Winquist collected two goals and an assist Friday night as the Everett Silvertips built a three-goal lead then held on for 4-3 victory over Medicine Hat in a matchup of the WHL’s conference leaders.
Winquist tied the franchise record by scoring at least one point in his 15th consecutive game. He matched the mark set by Zach Hamill in the 2006-07 season. Winquist can make the record all his own by picking up a point tonight at Calgary in the finale of the Silvertps’ four-game eastern road trip.
Winquist’s performance helped Everett (18-4-4) win its third straight game.
The Tips jumped to an early 1-0 lead, with Matt Pufahl getting a goal just 1 minute, 22 seconds into the game.
After Medicine Hat tied the contest on a goal by Trevor Cox, Winquist found the net late in the first period — his team-leading 19th goal of the season — to give Everett a 2-1 advantage.
The Tips expanded their edge to 4-1 in a span of 11 seconds in the second period. Winquist scored at the 14:40 mark, then assisted along with Manraj Hayer on Tyler Sandhu’s goal at 14:29.
“We kind of got caught on a line change and gave up an out-numbered rush, and then gave up an out-numbered rush off the next faceoff,” Medicine Hat head coach and general manager Shaun Clouston told the Medicine Hat News. “It was just a couple mistakes a few seconds apart, and they put it to the net. I think it was great we were able to regroup after that.”
Medicine Hat returned the favor with a lightening strike of its own late in the period. Curtis Valk scored twice in the final two minutes to make it 4-3.
But the Tigers couldn’t get the equalizer in a scoreless third period.
The Silvertips outshot Medicine Hat 10-5 in a fast-paced final period, during which neither team generated much offense. Everett’s first power play of the game, late in regulation, helped the Silvertips burn some clock.
Medicine Hat pulled its goaltender in the final minute but still couldn’t score.
“They are a real good team,” Clouston said of Everett, “and they are a tough team to play against when they have the lead.”
Austin Lotz made 23 saves in goal for the Tips to earn his 11th victory of the season. Daniel Wapple stopped 28 shots for the Tigers (16-6-3).
Everett defenseman Mirco Mueller returned to action after missing the first two games of the Tips’ four-game road trip because of illness. … A sellout crowd of 4,006 watched Friday night’s game.
Silvertips 4, Tigers 3
First Period—1, Everett, Pufahl 9 (Leedahl, Aasman), 1:22. 2, Medicine Hat, Cox 6 (Lewington), 13:25. 3, Everett, Winquist 19 (Stadnyk, Mueller), 18:32. Penalties—No Penalties
Second Period—4, Everett, Winquist 20 (Hayer, Pufahl), 5:20. 5, Everett, Sandhu 12 (Hayer, Winquist), 5:31. 6, Medicine Hat, Valk 10 (Cox, Sanford), 18:36. 7, Medicine Hat, Valk 11 (Bredo, Sanford), 19:12. Penalties—Winquist, Everett (boarding), 0:18; Betker, Evrett (interference), 14:39.
Thrd Period—No Scoring. Penalties—Pufahl, Everett (elbowing), 0:57; Becker, Medicine Hat (tripping), 16:24.
Shots on Goal—Everett 13-9-10-32. Medicine Hat 11-10-5-26.
Power Play Opportunities—Everett 0-for-1; Medicine Hat 0-for-3.
Goalies—Everett, Lotz 13-3-1-0 (26 shots-23 saves). Medicine Hat, Wapple 8-3-1-0 (32 shots-28 saves).