Tips stumble on road trip opener

EDMONTON, Alberta — The Everett Silvertips’ longest road trip of the season got off to an inauspicious start Thursday night.

Facing an expansion team with its backup goaltender in net, the Silvertips suffered a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings in the first game of their swing through the WHL’s Central Division.

Edmonton outworked and outhit the Tips, and goaltender Dalyn Flette, who came into the game with a bloated 5.43 goals against average, played a solid game in net for the Oil Kings.

Robin Figren broke a 1-1 tie with just 8.6 seconds remaining in the second period to give Edmonton (7-6-1-2) the lead for good. Brett Raedeke and Karey Pieper also scored, Brett Breitkreuz added an empty-netter, and Flette made 26 saves in net for the Oil Kings, who notched the first three-game winning streak in franchise history.

Kyle Beach scored another highlight-reel goal for Everett (8-7-0-0), but that was one of the rare highlights for the Tips. Leland Irving made 23 saves in net for Everett, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. The Tips have six games remaining on the road trip.

Edmonton came out of the gate with more jump than Everett and took the lead just 2 minutes, 38 seconds in. Figren was the first to a puck behind the Everett net and sent the puck out front, where Raedeke jammed at it several times before it went into the net to give the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead.

However, an Edmonton penalty after the first-period buzzer allowed the Tips to start the second on the power play, and Everett struck 36 seconds in. Beach scored from behind the net, picking the puck up with the blade of his stick and wrapping it into the net, to make it 1-1. It was the second time this season Beach scored in that manner.

Everett continued to control play in the period, but it was Edmonton who found the net with 8.6 seconds remaining, Figren scoring on a rebound to make it 2-1.

Flette made some good saves midway through the third period to preserve Edmonton’s lead, then Pieper sealed it with 1:51 remaining, holding off a defenseman on the right and throwing the puck out front, where it deflected in off Everett defenseman Dane Crowley.

Breitkreuz finished it off by scoring into an empty net with 18 seconds remaining.

Oil Kings 4, Silvertips 1

Everett010—1

Edmonton112—4

First Period—1, Edmonton, Raedeke 5 (Figren, Szaszkiewicz), 2:38. Penalties—Alexander, Everett (interference), 6:30; Raedeke, Edmonton (tripping), 14:46; Swaby, Edmonton (elbowing), 20:00.

Second Period—2, Everett, Beach 10 (Harty, Hamill), 0:36 (pp). 3, Edmonton, Figren 5 (Breitkreuz, Cepek), 19:52. Penalties—Beach, Everett (roughing), 5:59; Ellington, Everett (unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:59; Szaszkiewicz, Edmonton (roughing), 5:59; Dowd, Edmonton (holding), 10:23; Gendur, Everett (hooking), 11:35; Figren, Edmonton (tripping), 17:15.

Third Period—4, Edmonton, Pieper 5, 18:09. 5, Edmonton, Breitkreuz 6 (Vincour), 19:42 (en). Penalties—Crowley, Everett (delay of game), 0:26; Karamnov, Everett (10-minute misconduct), 15:46; Potuer, Everett (fighting), 15:46; Nichol, Edmonton (fighting), 15:46; Szaszkiewicz, Edmonton (10-minute misconduct), 15:46; Harty, Everett (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:58; Vincour, Edmonton (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:58.

Shots on goal—Everett 9-11-7—27. Edmonton 8-7-12—27. Power-play opportunities—Everett 1 of 4. Edmonton 0 of 4. Goalies—Everett, Irving 7-6-0-0 (26 shots, 23 saves). Edmonton, Flette 2-1-0-1 (27 shots, 26 saves). A—4,323.

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