VICTORIA, B.C. — The Everett Silvertips are back in front with two games to play.
Everett reclaimed the top spot in the U.S. Division and the Western Conference with a 4-2 win over the Victoria Royals Friday night before a sellout crowd of 7,006 fans on Fan Appreciation Night at Sav-On-Foods Memorial Arena.
The Tips (43-16-8-4, 97 points) can clinch the U.S. Division title with a win Saturday at home against Victoria (37-28-5-1, 80 points) coupled with a Seattle Thunderbirds regulation loss. Everett’s 97 points are the most it has recorded in a season since the 2009-10 season.
Everett forward Matt Fonteyne scored two goals while his linemates Patrick Bajkov and Dominic Zwerger each finished with two assists. Carter Hart recorded 25 saves to pick up his 30th win of the season.
Everett took a 2-1 lead into the second period, but Victoria’s Jack Walker tied it with his second goal of the game just 22 seconds into the frame.
The Tips answered. Eetu Tuulola, celebrating his 19th birthday, backhanded a rebound past Griffen Outhouse to make it 3-2 at 1:32. Then Fonteyne turned a stretch pass from Noah Juulsen into a breakaway goal at 2:59 for a 4-2 lead.
Walker opened the scoring when he gave the Royals a 1-0 lead less than six minutes into the game, but the Tips erased that with back-to-back goals and took a 2-1 lead after one.
Kevin Davis tied the game 1-1 when a slap shot from the point at 8:24. It was his second consecutive game with a power-play goal.
Fonteyne then roofed a shot past Outhouse at 11:44 to give the Tips the 2-1 lead.
The Royals scored first when they took advantage of a power play followed immediately by a second man advantage. Walker’s slap shot from the right point at 5:54 gave Victoria a 1-0 lead and snapped Everett’s string of 24 consecutive penalties killed.
Each team finished 1-for-3 on the power play.
Everett and Victoria conclude a home-and-home series Saturday at 7:05 p.m. for the Tips’ Fan Appreciation Night. The Tips conclude the regular season Sunday at Tri-City.
Silvertips 4, Royals 2
Everett 2 2 0 — 4
Victoria 1 1 0 — 2
1st Period—1, Victoria, Walker 30 (Walford, Phillips), 5:56 (PP). 2, Everett, Davis 9 (Zwerger, Bajkov), 8:24 (PP). 3, Everett, Fonteyne 18 (Bajkov, Zwerger), 11:44. Penalties-Skrumeda Evt (interference), 3:19; Tuulola Evt (hooking), 5:33; Masella Vic (interference), 7:19; King Evt (embellishment), 15:48; Prowse Vic (holding), 15:48.
2nd Period—4, Victoria, Walker 31 (Walford, Bobylev), 0:22. 5, Everett, Tuulola 18 (Wylie), 1:32. 6, Everett, Fonteyne 19 (Juulsen, Skrumeda), 2:59. Penalties-Walker Vic (slashing), 4:29; Wylie Evt (delay of game), 12:00; Irving Evt (major-fighting), 18:29; Bobylev Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd., major-fighting), 18:29.
3rd Period— No Scoring.Penalties-Bajkov Evt (roughing), 8:27; Bargar Vic (roughing), 8:27; Bajkov Evt (slashing), 16:22; Gagnon Vic (slashing), 16:22.
Shots on Goal-Everett 9-8-5-22. Victoria 7-12-8-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Everett 1 / 3; Victoria 1 / 3.
Goalies-Everett, Hart 31-11-6-2 (27 shots-25 saves). Victoria, Outhouse 34-24-3-1 (22 shots-18 saves).