Silvertips beat Chiefs 3-1 on road in Spokane

SPOKANE — If the Everett Silvertips are going to successfully defend their U.S. Division title from a season ago and advance in the playoffs, their ability to utilize their offensive depth will be of paramount importance.

The Tips got a taste of that could be like Sunday as third-line forward Dario Winkler and fourth-line counterpart Brandon Ralph each scored his third goal of the season as the Silvertips defeated the Spokane Chiefs 3-1 in a Western Hockey League game in front of 4,134 fans at Spokane Arena.

Defenseman Tristen Pfeifer added his second goal of the season as the Silvertips (24-12-1-2, 51 points) rebounded from Saturday’s overtime loss at Seattle with a decisive victory to move four points ahead of the second-place Thunderbirds in the U.S. Division standings.

The Tips concluded a run of 10 road games in 12 contests with an 8-1-1-0 road record, and finished the three-game weekend with a 2-0-1-0 mark to pick up five of a possible six points.

The reeling Chiefs (19-17-3-2, 43 points) lost their fourth straight game and fell to 1-5 against the Tips this season.

The Silvertips never trailed in Sunday’s game, and as the minutes ticked down in the third period the only question became whether Everett goaltender Carter Hart could hang on to record his seventh shutout of the season.

Wyatt Johnson ended Hart’s shutout bid at 13:28 of the final period, but Hart finished with 29 saves en route to first-star honors for Everett.

The Tips scored once in each period. Everett took the lead at 4:33 of the opening period when Spokane goaltender Tyson Verhelst was unable to corral Pfeifer’s shot from the point, and Winkler was at the right side of the crease for the tap-in goal.

Ralph scored Everett’s second goal thanks to an assist from Yan Khomenko with a quick wrister from the left side at 9:19 of the second period.

Pfeifer scored Everett’s final goal at 11:08 of the third period as Graham Millar and Patrick Bajkov earned assists.

Verhelst finished with 22 saves in the loss.

The Silvertips return to Xfinity Arena for a rare Tuesday night game when they play host to the Regina Pats. The faceoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

For the box score from Sunday’s game, see the Scoreboard on Page C6.

Notes

The WHL trade deadline arrived at 11 a.m. Sunday. The Tips made a minor move as they shipped 17-year-old center Jaeger White to the Brandon Wheat Kings for a 2017 conditional sixth-round bantam pick. Everett acquired White from Lethbridge in December for another sixth-round bantam pick. White played in three games, but had been scratched in eight straight before he was dealt to Brandon. … Everett reassigned 15-year-old defenseman Montana Onyebuchi to the Eastman Selects of the Manitoba Midget Hockey League. Onyebuchi spent the past week practicing with the Tips.

Silvertips 3, Chiefs

Everett 1 1 1—3

Spokane 0 0 1—1

First Period—1, Everett, Winkler 3 (Pfeifer), 4:33. Penalties-Sozanski Spo (holding), 1:55; Ka. Yamamoto Spo (cross checking), 12:56; Martin Evt (tripping), 14:10.

Second Period—2, Everett, Ralph 3 (Khomenko), 9:19. Penalties-Laurencelle Evt (tripping), 0:45; Bechtold Spo (checking from behind), 14:40.

Third Period—3, Everett, Pfeifer 2 (Millar, Bajkov), 11:06. 4, Spokane, W. Johnson 11 (Elynuik), 13:28. Penalties—No Penalties

Shots on Goal—Everett 12-5-8-25. Spokane 9-11-10-30.

Power Play Opportunities—Everett 0 / 3; Spokane 0 / 2.

Goalies—Everett, Hart 23-11-1-2 (30 shots, 29 saves). Spokane, Verhelst 16-12-0-2 (25 shots, 22 saves).

A—4,134

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