BLOG: Silvertips one away from dispatching Thunderbirds

The Everett Silvertips are a win away from eliminating their longtime playoff nemesis. The Tips controlled the game from the get-go Friday in a 7-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds at ShoWare Center to take a 3-1 series lead. A win at home tonight sends the two-time defending conference champion T-Birds home for the summer.

The Tips came out much better than Tuesday’s 3-1 win in Kent when the T-Birds fired off 24 first-period shots. On Friday the Tips never trailed and had a four-goal lead through two periods – though Seattle came back within two early in the third.

“Definitely after Tuesday night we needed to come back with a little pushback, a little pace to the game,” head coach Dennis Williams said. “I think we learned our lesson on Tuesday, although we didn’t come out with that same intensity to start the third. We were disappointed in that first 10 minutes of the third until about the timeout, then I thought we started playing better hockey.”

As I mentioned in my game story, Connor Dewar’s shorthanded penalty shot goal in the final minute of the first period was the biggest shift of momentum.

“He’s normally at his best when he just comes down and snaps it,” Williams said. “He can really shoot a puck and I’ve seen that a few times in practice throughout the year for sure.”

Dewar earned nightly WHL star recognition:

The Tips also received some timely goals from other sources. Sean Richards scored his first of the series, and fourth-line center Ethan O’Rourke rifled a wrister past Hughes to give Everett the 5-1 second-period lead.

The O’Rourke goal was critical as he had just five goals all season and only one as a Silvertip. O’Rourke normally takes the faceoffs, but was thrown out of that particular one. Instead Spencer Gerth won the draw and played it to O’Rourke for the clear shot while winger Bronson Sharp took the defenseman out of the way.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster for our team and for that line,” Williams said.

Riley Sutter’s third-period goal was second only to Dewar’s in terms of importance. Sutter buried a feed from Garrett Pilon at 15:37 to push Everett’s lead back to three after the T-Birds had cut the deficit to 5-3.

It was Sutter’s first goal of the series and it came after he served a one-game suspension in Game 3 for a knee-on-knee hit.

It also was the WHL highlight of the night:

You can read additional coverage for 710 ESPN’s Andy Eide here and the Seattle Times’ Jim Riley here.

For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.

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