EVERETT — The Tri-City Americans managed to keep Matt Fonteyne from finding the net Monday afternoon.
But Fonteyne, who leads Everett with 25 goals, found another way to contribute when he tied the Everett Silvertips’ club record with five assists as the Tips beat the Amercians 6-5 before 3,214 fans on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Angel of the Winds Arena.
“You kind of just worry about the game (rather than stats),” Fonteyne said. “It was a close game. They battled really hard all night and it was a tough game, so you don’t really think about points or anything. You’re just happy with the win.”
Fonteyne tied the record set by Peter Mueller against these same Americans in 2006 as the Tips won their fifth straight.
With the victory Everett (28-16-1-1, 58 points) moved ahead of Portland and into first place in the U.S. Division. Everett beat the Winterhawks 4-3 in a shootout Sunday evening.
“There’s obviously some stuff we have to clean up,” Fonteyne said. “We’ll work on that mid-week with practice and everything. But like Coach said, you can’t critique wins too much. You just have to enjoy them at the time.”
Tri-City (22-16-5-0, 49 points) has dropped four straight and six of its last eight.
Everett head coach Dennis Williams didn’t realize Fonteyne had five helpers until he was told by a reporter after the game.
“Good for him — that’s fantastic,” Williams said. “That was quite a pass he made to Pilon at the end there… He’s your 20-year-old captain. That’s what you need from those guys, him and (Patrick) Bajkov and (Kevin) Davis.”
The pass to which Williams was referring came on the power play with 16:43 to play as Garrett Pilon scored Everett’s penultimate goal.
Fonteyne found Pilon at the left circle from across the ice and Pilon’s one-timer broke a 4-4 tie.
“Great one-timer,” Fonteyne said. “I don’t know how he got it off, but it was really impressive. He just found an open slot and I just tried to throw it over to him, and it was a really nice job by him.”
Riley Sutter’s empty-netter with 51 seconds to play made it 6-4 and appeared to seal the game.
But then things got interesting.
Spencer Gerth, Dawson Butt and the Everett bench were each issued penalties with 42 seconds to go, effectively giving Tri-City a 6-on-3 power play.
Dylan Coghlan was credited with a goal with 16 seconds to play when his rebound off the back wall hit Everett goalie Dustin Wolf’s leg and bounced into the net.
But the Tips held off the Americans for the remaining seconds for their fifth straight victory.
“That’s emotion,” Williams said. “We’ve had that a few times between each other. They’ve got a big, tough team and there was lots of hockey left. I thought we did a pretty good job on that kill up until that point, and then to kill off the last 6-on-4.”
Everett took a 2-0 lead after one period before a wild second period left the teams deadlocked at 4-4 heading into the third.
Jordan Topping scored on the opening shift of the second to cut Everett’s lead in half, then Nolan Yaremko potted a loose puck at 2:21 to draw the Americans even at 2-2.
Dewar’s second goal of the game off feeds from Fonteyne and Pilon restored Everett’s lead to 3-2 at 10:55, but Yaremko beat Wolf at the right post 56 seconds later to tie the game 3-3.
A Bajkov power-play goal gave Everett a 4-3 lead at 13:23, but Isaac Johnson tied it for the third time at 16:16 as the teams went into the third tied 4-4.
Connor Dewar’s backhander from the slot gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 11:33 in the opening period.
Sean Richards made it 2-0 at 15:47, when he tapped in a feed from Bajkov.
Everett finished 2-for-2 on the power play while Tri-City was 1-for-2. There were no penalties called on either team until midway through the second period, and Tri-City’s only two power plays came with 40 seconds to play in the game.
“There was some physicality early and both sides had some big hits — but clean hits,” Williams said. “One thing we talk a lot about is checking with our legs, not our sticks. I thought we did a good job, even in the third when we got up (by a goal).”
The Silvertips return to action next weekend. They play host to Brandon on Saturday at 7:05 and Swift Current on Sunday at 4:05.
Note: Former Seattle Seahawks legend and NFL Hall-of-Famer Walter Jones dropped the ceremonial first puck before Sunday’s game. He later met with the team in the dressing room following the victory.
For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.
Silvertips 6, Americans 5
Tri-City 0 4 1 – 5
Everett 2 2 2 – 6
1st Period-1, Everett, Dewar 20 (Wylie, Sutter), 11:33. 2, Everett, Richards 17 (Bajkov, Fonteyne), 15:47. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-3, Tri-City, Topping 22 (Sawchuk, Geekie), 0:20. 4, Tri-City, Yaremko 14 (Johnson), 2:21. 5, Everett, Dewar 21 (Fonteyne, Pilon), 10:55. 6, Tri-City, Yaremko 15 (Johnson, AuCoin), 11:51. 7, Everett, Bajkov 22 (Fonteyne, Davis), 13:23 (PP). 8, Tri-City, Johnson 11 (AuCoin), 16:16. Penalties-Mutala Tc (hooking), 12:35; Gatenby Tc (major-fighting), 14:33; Gerth Evt (major-fighting), 14:33.
3rd Period-9, Everett, Pilon 22 (Fonteyne, Davis), 16:43 (PP). 10, Everett, Sutter 19 (Dewar, Fonteyne), 19:09 (EN). 11, Tri-City, Coghlan 13 (Bean), 19:44 (PP). Penalties-Coghlan Tc (tripping), 15:32; Topping Tc (roughing), 19:18; served by Fasko-Rudas Evt (bench), 19:18; Butt Evt (roughing), 19:18; Gerth Evt (charging), 19:18.
Shots on Goal-Tri-City 11-21-8-40. Everett 9-19-17-45.
Power Play Opportunities-Tri-City 1 / 2; Everett 2 / 2.
Goalies-Tri-City, Warm 12-7-1-0 (44 shots-39 saves). Everett, Wolf 10-5-0-0 (40 shots-35 saves).