EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips created a bit of team history Friday.
Never before had the Tips swept Kelowna in a four-game season series, but Everett’s come-from-behind 4-2 win Friday completed a regular-season sweep of the Rockets before 5,778 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena.
“A lot of credit (goes) to our guys,” Everett head coach Dennis Williams said. “They stuck to the game plan, getting pucks behind their (defense) and cycling pucks and funneling pucks and bodies to the net.”
That wasn’t the only bit of history as Patrick Bajkov’s game-tying goal in the third period broke Tyler Maxwell’s career franchise record. It was the 108th career tally for Bajkov who had scored only once in his previous 10 games.
“In the big picture that was a huge game for us to come out with a 4-2 win and battle back in the third,” Bajkov said. “I think it’s a good feeling in the locker room right now, and personally I’m going to let it soak in tonight and get back at it tomorrow.”
The U.S. Division-leading Tips (42-18-2-3, 89 points) increased their conference lead over Kelowna (38-21-4-2, 82 points) to seven points as both teams pursue the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
“I think it just shows our character that we’ve been building up through the year,” Bajkov said. “We’re a pretty confident group and it showed tonight.”
Forward Connor Dewar scored the game’s final two goals as Everett tallied four unanswered after facing a 2-0 deficit early in the second period.
Matt Fonteyne also added a goal and an assist while Garrett Pilon had two helpers in the victory.
Dewar broke a 2-2 tie at 16:51 in the third period as he potted his own rebound past Brodan Salmond.
“The reason why he scored is because he stopped there net-front and he gets two whacks it,” Williams said. “He doesn’t peel off to the corner and vacate. That’s a tough area to stay at because there’s probably a good chance you’re going to get crosschecked there within half a second. That’s where goal scorers go.”
Dewar then iced the game with 48.3 seconds to go when he stashed a power-play feed from Pilon.
Everett trailed 2-1 after two periods. But at 11:39 in the third Bajkov walked in and beat Salmond glove-side to tie the game 2-2.
That set up Dewar’s late-game heroics as the third-year Everett forward continues to lead the team with 34 goals on the season.
Kelowna led 1-0 through one and extended its lead to 2-0 at 5:17 in the second. An Ondrej Vala point shot in the Kelowna zone bounced off Kole Lind, and the Kelowna forward finished off the ensuing breakaway by roofing a wrister over Carter Hart’s left shoulder to for the two-goal lead.
“(Lind is) one of the purest goal-scorers in the league and he made us pay for it,” Williams said.
Fonteyne got one back late in the second. The Silvertips co-captain flicked a wrister from the left circle that bounced off Kelowna defenseman James Hilsendager and past Salmond at 18:41.
“I’m sure it’s not making the ESPN Top 10 going off a guy’s chest like that, but it was a big shift for us,” Williams said. “It gave us life again. It got the crowd into it and got the atmosphere going.”
It remained 2-1 after two periods.
The Rockets struck first when Carsen Twarynski snuck behind the Everett defense and beat Hart glove-side. Kelowna took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission despite two Everett power-plays and a 16-12 shot advantage.
Everett finished 1-for-4 on the power play while holding Kelowna scoreless in its lone opportunity.
Hart saved 22 of the 24 shots he saw while Salmond finished with 36 saves on 40 shots.
The Silvertips return to action Saturday for “Navy Night” at Angel of the Winds Arena beginning at 7:05 p.m.
Silvertips 4, Rockets 2
Kelowna 1 1 0 — 2
Everett 0 1 3 — 4
1st Period—1, Kelowna, Twarynski 39 (Dube), 12:51. Penalties—Mattson Kel (charging), 6:22; Gardiner Kel (tripping), 17:18.
2nd Period—2, Kelowna, Lind 36 5:17. 3, Everett, Fonteyne 32 18:41. Penalties—served by Cowell Kel (too many men), 5:54; Christiansen Evt (interference), 10:48.
3rd Period—4, Everett, Bajkov 29 (Richards, Fonteyne), 11:39. 5, Everett, Dewar 33 (Sutter, Pilon), 16:51. 6, Everett, Dewar 34 (Pilon, Wylie), 19:11 (PP). Penalties—served by Mattson Kel (too many men), 18:51.
Shots on Goal—Kelowna 12-6-6-24. Everett 16-15-9-40.
Power Play Opportunities—Kelowna 0 / 1; Everett 1 / 4.
Goalies—Kelowna, Salmond 11-10-0-1 (40 shots-36 saves). Everett, Hart 27-4-1-3 (24 shots-22 saves).