SPOKANE — Three times the Everett Silvertips have dropped three straight games and three times they’ve victimized a division opponent to snap the streak.
Sunday night the short-handed Silvertips held off the Spokane Chiefs 3-2 before 4,860 fans at Spokane Arena.
U.S. Division-leading Everett (33-19-2-2, 70 points) never trailed, but the Chiefs did make it interesting in the final two minutes. Trailing 3-1, Spokane pulled goaltender Tyson Verhelst for an extra skater. Markson Bechtold took advantage when he scored from the slot at 18:49 to pull the Chiefs within one.
But the Tips, led by backup goaltender Mario Petit, managed to hold Spokane off the board for the final 1:11 to earn their sixth win over the Chiefs (27-22-4-3, 61 points) this season.
Everett also stayed five points ahead of second-place Seattle in the standings as the Thunderbirds defeated Victoria 4-2 Sunday night in Kent.
Petit, getting the rare start to spell regular goaltender Carter Hart, recorded 22 saves as he earned his second victory of the season. The Tips were also without defenseman Lucas Skrumeda, who was scratched with an undisclosed injury. Consequently, Jake Christiansen moved back to defense leaving the Tips one forward short.
Everett held a 2-1 advantage through two periods. Graham Millar gave the Tips a two-goal cushion when he scored off a rebound of Tristen Pfeifer’s shot at 7:51 in the second. It was Millar’s career-high 15th goal of the season.
Yet it was the Everett defensemen who helped propel the Silvertips to the lead. Noah Juulsen drove the puck to the net from the right side himself and potted the game’s first goal past Verhelst for a 1-0 lead just 2:45 into the opening period.
The Chiefs countered when Spokane leading scorer Dominic Zwerger curled behind the goal and wrapped in the tying goal past Petit to make it 1-1 at 6:08 in the first.
Then Everett defenseman Brycen Martin broke a 1-1 tie at 10:47 with a shot from the point on the power play to give the Tips their second lead of the game. Patrick Bajkov and Millar earned assists.
It was Martin’s sixth goal of the season and third with Everett since he was acquired from Saskatoon earlier this season.
Millar finished with a goal and an assist to earn third star honors. Juulsen took the first star.
Everett finished 1-for-2 on the power play while holding Spokane off the board during the Chiefs’ three man advantages. The Tips held a 25-24 shot advantage, but the Chiefs outshot Everett 11-5 in the final period.
Sixteen regular-season games remain for the Tips who return to action at Tri-City on Friday.
Silvertips 3, Chiefs 2
Everett 1 1 1 — 3
Spokane 1 0 1 — 2
1st Period—1, Everett, Juulsen 6 2:45. 2, Spokane, Zwerger 23 (Elynuik, Ke. Yamamoto), 6:08. Penalties-Martin Evt (hooking), 16:42; Fiala Spo (tripping), 19:45.
2nd Period—3, Everett, Martin 6 (Millar, Bajkov), 10:47 (PP). Penalties-Millar Evt (hooking), 4:46; Sozanski Spo (tripping), 9:11.
3rd Period—4, Everett, Millar 15 (Pfeifer, MacDonald), 7:51. 5, Spokane, Bechtold 13 (Kopeck), 18:49. Penalties-Pfeifer Evt (hooking), 2:04.
Shots on Goal—Everett 11-9-5-25. Spokane 6-7-11-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Everett 1/2; Spokane 0/3.
Goalies—Everett, Petit 2-1-1-0 (24 shots-22 saves). Spokane, Verhelst 20-17-0-3 (25 shots-22 saves).