Well, what can one say about that? I know the Silvertips haven’t been the best team when it comes to playing with a third-period lead in these playoffs. But I never thought I’d see them surrender a three-goal lead in the third period. It happened so fast — Prince George scored all four of its goals in a span of 9:28 to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 victory in Saturday’s Game 5 — I think everyone in the Everett Events Center was in shock, including the players.
Further confounding the issue was the fact Everett played probably its best period of hockey in the playoffs in the second period, outshooting Prince George 21-4. And the Tips just don’t lose when leading after two periods — Saturday was just the second time that happened all season in 42 attempts.
Now Everett trails the best-of-seven series 3-2 heading to Monday’s Game 6 in Prince George, where the Tips have struggled, winning just once (in a shootout) in four tries between the regular season and playoffs.
I don’t know if there’s any way back for Everett after a loss like that. Saturday’s loss had to be a major blow to Everett’s psyche, and the Tips had no time to recover mentally, hopping on the bus for the 11-hour ride to Prince George immediately following the game. Add in the Cougars’ inspired play and there’s a good chance the top-ranked team in the entire Canadian Hockey League will be making an early exit from the playoffs.