EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips continued their winning ways Friday night, and a 5-2 Western Hockey League victory over Edmonton allowed the Tips to pad their U.S. Division lead while also climbing into a tie for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Connor Dewar, Lucas Skrumeda, Matt Fonteyne, Orrin Centazzo and Bradly Goethals all found the net for Everett, and backup goaltender Mario Petit was flawless except for a pair of goals given up in a four-minute span of the second period.
Everett led 2-0 after one period, yielded a pair of Edmonton goals in the second period, but countered later in the second period with two goals in barely a half-minute. For good measure, the Tips tacked on an insurance goal late in the third period.
“I thought we came out and played good in the first (period),” Tips coach Kevin Constantine said. “And then we were really bad at the start of the second period for about 10 minutes. We kind of took things a little bit for granted (with a two-goal lead) and didn’t come out very good at all. But we recovered and played a good game the rest of the way, so we’ll take it.”
With the win, before a crowd of 4,178 at Xfinity Arena, Everett improved its record in its past 12 games to nine wins, one loss and two overtime losses. Friday’s decision also gives the Tips 38 points in the 2016-17 season, matching Prince George for the best mark in the Western Conference.
Everett also got some help from Seattle, which notched a 5-2 road win at Tri-City. Everett’s win and the Tri-City loss gives the Tips a six-point margin in the U.S. Division.
“If you look at the entire season,” Constantine said, “it’s been fun. It’s been a team that’s been, I think, a bit surprising to the league and maybe even surprising to themselves a bit. And it’s happened because we’ve got contributions from a lot of different people. It probably starts with our goalies, Carter Harter and then Petit when he’s gotten in … and then we’ve found offense a little bit better. We’re middle of the pack offensively (in the WHL), but last year we were bottom two. So we’ve found some goals with some guys.
“It really is a team,” he added. “We really can’t win based on any one star. There’s some good players that contribute, and it seems like it’s somebody different most nights that contributes. So it’s a real collective effort.”
Everett struck twice in the first period, and the initial goal came with the Tips a man down. On an Edmonton power play, Dewar snagged a free puck near center ice, eluded a last defender, and skated in on Oil Kings goalie Dea Patrick. Dewar gave a head fake right and then went to his backhand from left of the goal for a score at 15:25.
A little over four minutes later the Tips were on the board again, this time by Skrumeda. Teammate Dominic Zwerger got a steal near center ice, had the puck nudged away near the blue line, but Skrumeda was there to collect the loose puck and his shot from in front found the right side of the net at 11:14.
After the visitors tied the score in the second period, Everett’s Matt Fonteyne scored a dandy 2-on-1 power-play goal off a feed from Patrick Bajkov. Thirty-four seconds later, Centazzo took a long pass in front and jammed it past Dea for a 4-2 lead.
In the final period, Bradly Goethals redirected a shot in front that found the net. A video review was used to determine if Goethals used a high stick, and the goal was allowed to stand.
The victory raised Everett’s home record this season to 10-2-0-0. The outcome also moved Constantine within one win of No. 300 in his seven-plus seasons with the Silvertips.