KENNEWICK – The hits just keep on coming for the Everett Silvertips.
Their horrible slump continued, stretching to sixth consecutive defeats with a 4-0 loss to the Tri-City Americans on Friday night.
Everything about Friday’s loss was troublesome for Everett:
* The six-game losing streak is Everett’s longest in franchise history.
* It was the third time in four games Everett was shut out.
* Everett’s top two scorers were added to the injury list – left wing John Lammers was scratched because of minor injuries, then center Peter Mueller did not play in the final two periods.
* Silvertips No. 1 goaltender Leland Irving was yanked for the second straight game.
* The momentum Everett gained from a strong third period in Tuesday’s 6-4 loss to Regina was completely buried.
As a result, Everett fell to 14-11-1-0, and the Silvertips’ lead in the U.S. division shrunk to two points over second-place Portland, which has four games in hand.
Carey Price recorded his second shutout in as many nights to lead Tri-City (9-11-2-1), which despite being in last place in the U.S. Division trails Everett by just eight points. Price finished with 22 saves to follow up on Thursday’s 3-0 shutout of Kootenay.
Logan Stephenson, Alex Aldred and Igor Bacek each had a goal and an assist and Matt Schneider also scored for Tri-City.
Irving saved 11 of the 15 shots he saw to take the loss. Matt Esposito came on in relief to start the third period and saved all eight shots he faced.
The nature or extent of Mueller’s injury was not known. The Tips were hoping Lammers would be able to return for tonight’s game against Kootenay.
Tri-City took the lead at 11 minutes, 43 second of the first period. On the Americans’ first power-play opportunity of the game, Stephenson’s shot from the point found its way through traffic and past Irving to make it 1-0.
The Americans doubled their lead at 16:55. On a two-on-one break, Bacek faked a shot, pulling Irving out of position. He then fed Aldred, who tapped it in to make it 2-0.
Tri-City then made the possibility of a comeback remote by scoring again 34 seconds into the second period. Schneider took advantage of a turnover in Everett’s zone and beat Irving to make it 3-0.
The Americans turned it into a rout at 17:31 of the second with another power-play goal, Bacek putting a shot between Irving’s legs to make it 4-0.
Everett forwards Torrie Wheat, Ondrej Fiala and Zach Hamill and defenseman Jonathan Harty remained sidelined with various ailments. With Lammers also out, Everett was forced to suit seven defensemen, with Taylor Ellington seeing some time at forward for the first time in his WHL career.