SPOKANE – The Everett Silvertips prevented the Spokane Chiefs from earning a little bit of regular season glory.
Everett avoided having a losing record against any team in the Western Hockey League this season by beating Spokane 6-2 Tuesday night.
Everett (52-12-1-2) had assured itself at least a .500 record against every team in the league except Spokane (34-26-4-3), which won four of the teams’ first seven meetings.
However, Peter Mueller scored a pair of goals, including the back-breaker midway through the third period, as Everett earned a series split, despite having lost four of the first five.
Jason Fransoo, Lukas Vartovnik, Dan Gendur and Jesse Burt also scored, Damir Alic had three assists and Leland Irving made 23 saves for the short-handed Silvertips, who won for the first time in four tries in Spokane this season.
J.P. Szaszkiewicz and Adam Hobson scored for Spokane. Kevin Armstrong, who was pulled after surrendering Everett’s third goal midway through the second period but returned for the third, gave up all six goals on 21 shots. Dustin Tokarski made two saves during his cameo.
Despite missing five regulars to injury – forwards Moises Gutierrez (head), Ondrej Fiala (knee), Jesse Smyke (head) and Brennan Sonne (spleen) and defenseman Taylor Ellington (neck) – Everett played from ahead throughout. Power-play goals by Fransoo and Mueller in the first period, and traded goals by Szaszkiewicz and Vartovnik in the second, gave the Tips a 3-1 lead going into the third.
However, the Chiefs turned up the pressure early in the period and cut the lead to one on Hobson’s power-play goal 2 minutes, 17 seconds into the third.
But Everett erupted midway through the period, scoring two four-on-four goals in 19 seconds to put the game away.
First, at 11:51, Zach Hamill and Mueller broke away two-on-one, and although Hamill’s shot was saved, Mueller scored on the rebound to restore Everett’s two-goal lead.
Moments later, Gendur skated into the Spokane zone and zipped a wrist shot past Armstrong to make it 5-2.
Burt tacked on a late goal to provide the final margin.
At Spokane Arena
First Period-1, Everett, Fransoo 9 (Alic), 14:01 (pp). 2, Everett, Mueller 20 (Irving), 18:20 (pp). Penalties-Strong, Everett (roughing), 7:33; Bruton, Spokane (tripping), 12:34; Bowman, Spokane (slashing), 17:58; Spokane bench (unsportsmanlike conduct, served by Grabner), 18:02; Mueller, Everett (hooking), 19:19; Dailey, Everett (roughing), 20:00.
Second Period-3, Spokane, Szaszkiewicz 8 (Haw, Lenoski), 3:53. 4, Everett, Vartovnik 8 (Alic, Fransoo), 8:21. Penalties-Zimmerman, Spokane (interfence), 9:43; Hamill, Everett (hooking), 10:37; Spokane bench (too many men), 11:50; Potuer, Everett (holding), 14:50.
Third Period-5, Spokane, Hobson 14 (Ryan, Armstrong), 2:17 (pp). 6, Everett, Mueller 21 (Hamill, Crowley), 11:51. 7, Everett, Gendur 20 (Alic, Harty), 12:10. 8, Everett, Burt 3 (Alexander), 19:31. Penalties-Campos, Everett (goaltender interference), 1:15; Fransoo, Everett (hold stick), 9:11; Blackwater, Spokane (holding), 10:23; Potuer, Everett (interference), 10:38; Strong, Everett (holding), 17:38.
Shots on goal-Everett 12-3-8-23. Spokane 9-7-9-25. Power-play opportunities-Everett 2 of 5. Spokane 1 of 9. Goalies-Everett, Irving 32-8-1-2 (25 shots, 23 saves). Spokane, Armstrong 22-16-3-2 (21 shots, 15 saves), Tokarski (2 shots, 2 saves). A-4,539.