LANGLEY, B.C. — Even without two of their top players, the Everett Silvertips weren’t about to give up momentum in their opening-round playoff series.
Playing without leading scorer Jackson Berezowski and leading point-getter Alex Swetlikoff, the Silvertips scored three times in the first period and rolled to a 6-2 win over the Vancouver Giants on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
After falling 5-4 in overtime of the series opener, the top-seeded Silvertips have outscored the eighth-seeded Giants 13-5 over the past two games, both Everett wins.
Ryan Hofer did most of the damage early on Wednesday, scoring twice in the first period, sandwiched around a goal from Niko Huuhtanen, as the Silvertips raced to a 3-0 lead after one.
Matthew Ng then took the mantle and scored twice in the second period, but was canceled out by goals from Vancouver’s Fabian Lysell and Adam Hall as Everett maintained a three-goal lead, 5-2, heading into the final intermission.
Huuhtanen added an insurance goal at 15:31 in the final period as the Silvertips secured the win.
Michal Gut and Hunter Campbell each had two assists, and Braden Holt stopped 32 of 34 shots for Everett.
The series stays in Vancouver for Game 4 on Friday before shifting back to Everett for Game 5 on Saturday night.
Silvertips 6, Giants 2
Everett 3 2 1 — 6
Vancouver 0 2 0 — 2
1st Period-1, Everett, Hofer 3 (Huuhtanen), 9:26. 2, Everett, Huuhtanen 4 (Gut, Campbell), 12:57. 3, Everett, Hofer 4 (Ng), 19:52. Penalties-Wright Evt (interference), 14:08; Lipinski Van (tripping), 17:11.
2nd Period-4, Everett, Ng 1 (Hemmerling), 2:14. 5, Vancouver, Lysell 1 (Horning, Cotton), 3:45 (PP). 6, Everett, Ng 2 (Campbell, Sutter), 4:00. 7, Vancouver, Hall 4 (Lysell), 10:48 (PP). Penalties-Huuhtanen Evt (hooking), 2:46; Huuhtanen Evt (slashing), 4:18; Semeniuk Van (slashing), 6:11; Zaplitny Evt (tripping), 9:08; Anderson Evt (interference), 12:22; Lambos Evt (delay of game), 13:29; Lysell Van (slashing, slashing), 18:35.
3rd Period-8, Everett, Huuhtanen 5 (Zellweger, Gut), 15:31 (PP). Penalties-Zellweger Evt (delay of game), 4:27; Sutter Evt (roughing), 12:50; Cadieux Van (major-interference, game misconduct), 12:50; Langkow Van (roughing), 12:50; Lamanna Evt (10-minute misconduct), 19:00; Zellweger Evt (10-minute misconduct), 19:00; Bochek Van (10-minute misconduct), 19:00; Edwards Van (major – checking to the head, game misconduct), 19:00; Palmieri Van (10-minute misconduct), 19:00.
Shots on Goal-Everett 9-10-5-24. Vancouver 7-18-9-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Everett 1 / 7; Vancouver 2 / 7.
Goalies-Everett, Holt (34 shots-32 saves). Vancouver, Vikman (24 shots-18 saves).