KENT — The ShoWare Center has has been a difficult place for WHL teams to play in recent seasons.
That includes the Everett Silvertips, who saw their hex continue Saturday as they fell 3-2 in a shootout to the T-Birds before 5,476 fans at ShoWare Center.
“We didn’t compete. We looked scared,” Everett head coach Dennis Williams said. “That’s what I saw. We didn’t want to go to the tough areas tonight, and that’s what happens, and I said that to them after the game. We were playing perimeter hockey most of the night, and we gotta do a much better job in this type of division and in these types of games.”
Everett (31-16-1-2, 65 points) saw its season end at ShoWare in the second round of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.
The Tips haven’t won at ShoWare since a 3-0 shutout in Game 1 of the 2016 Western Conference semifinals, a streak of 11 regular and postseason constests.
Saturday the U.S. Division-leading Tips saw their eight-game winning streak snapped as Austin Strand scored the only shootout goal to best Everett.
“You probably think we got a point and it’s a lot of hockey, but our expectations keep rising for this group and we expect more,” Williams said.
Seattle (26-17-4-2, 58 points) had its five-game winning streak ended in a 3-1 loss at Everett on Friday. The T-Birds now have a 3-2 lead in the season series with five games remaining.
Despite never holding a lead in the game, the Thunderbirds twice overcame one-goal deficits to force overtime.
The extra session solved nothing, though Everett’s Kevin Davis was called for interference just 21 seconds into overtime to give Seattle a power play.
But Everett killed it off and went on to force the shootout.
“Great kill by that group,” Williams. “That’s a great kill from those guys with some great blocks there.”
The teams went into the third tied at one goal apiece.
Connor Dewar’s second goal of the night snapped the deadlock and gave Everett the 2-1 lead at 7:41 when he redirected a pass from Garrett Pilon past Liam Hughes.
But the T-Birds drew even again at 10:25 when Matthew Wedman banged home a loose puck in a net-front scrum to make it 2-2.
“You gotta win from the dot-to-the-board battles and you gotta win net-front battles,” Williams said. “You gotta give credit to them on their power play to tie it up. They had two or three guys shoving guys in the net, and we lacked that tonight.”
The T-Birds had previously tied the game at 7:34 in the second period when Noah Philp found Blake Bargar from behind the net, and Bargar cashed in from the left side of the crease for his 10th goal of the season.
Dewar, who scored Everett’s final goal in the Tips’ 3-1 win over Seattle at home Friday, struck first Saturday to give Everett a 1-0 lead.
Pilon found Dewar at the left circle, and Dewar roofed a shot past Liam Hughes to give Everett the lead at 3:44 in the first period.
That’s how it remained until the intermission.
Hughes saved 34 of Everett’s 36 shots.
Carter Hart finished with 29 saves on Seattle’s 31 shots.
The Tips finished 0-for-2 on the power play while Seattle was 1-for-3.
“We have to understand what makes a winning team night-in and night-out is that consistency,” Williams said. “We need a consistent compete (level), a consistent effort. I don’t think it’s that we weren’t trying hard, but we weren’t trying hard in the tough areas.”
Everett will get another chance today. The Tips have another quick turnaround as they play host to Spokane at 4:05 p.m. at Angel of the Winds Arena.
Thunderbirds 3, Silvertips 2, SO
Everett 1 0 1 0 – 2
Seattle 0 1 1 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Everett, Dewar 24 (Pilon), 3:44. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-2, Seattle, Bargar 10 (Philp, Neuls), 7:34. Penalties-Hamaliuk Sea (checking from behind), 5:03; Fasko-Rudas Evt (roughing), 8:36; Hamaliuk Sea (roughing), 8:36; MacLean Sea (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 13:43.
3rd Period-3, Everett, Dewar 25 (Pilon, Sutter), 7:41. 4, Seattle, Wedman 10 (Volcan, Andrusiak), 10:25 (PP). Penalties-Bajkov Evt (inter. on goaltender), 3:53; Walker Evt (tripping), 8:47; Bajkov Evt (10-minute misconduct), 10:25.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Davis Evt (interference), 0:21.
Shootout – Everett 0 (Bajkov NG, Fonteyne NG, Pilon NG), Seattle 1 (Philp NG, Andrusiak NG, Strand G).
Shots on Goal-Everett 12-10-13-1-0-36. Seattle 8-7-13-3-1-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Everett 0 / 2; Seattle 1 / 3.
Goalies-Everett, Hart 18-3-0-2 (31 shots-29 saves). Seattle, Hughes 9-6-1-1 (36 shots-34 saves).