Swift Current’s Aleksi Heponiemi (center) celebrates an overtime goal by Glenn Gawdin (not pictured) to give the Broncos a 3-2 victory over the Silvertips in Game 3 of the WHL finals on May 8, 2018, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Swift Current’s Aleksi Heponiemi (center) celebrates an overtime goal by Glenn Gawdin (not pictured) to give the Broncos a 3-2 victory over the Silvertips in Game 3 of the WHL finals on May 8, 2018, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Silvertips watch late lead slip away again in loss to Broncos

Everett falls 3-2 to Swift Current in OT of Game 3 of the WHL finals and trails series 2-1.

EVERETT — Once again the Everett Silvertips watched a lead slip away late in the third period.

And once again the Swift Current Broncos rode that momentum to an overtime win as Glenn Gawdin completed a hat trick in a 3-2 Broncos win in Game 3 of the WHL championship series before 4,872 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena.

Gawdin’s game-winner beat Everett goaltender Carter Hart on the blocker side at 2:40 in the extra period as the Broncos took a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 is at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.

“We kind of did it to ourselves,” Everett head coach Dennis Williams said. “They were quicker on puck touches in both (the tying and winning goals). Obviously Gawdin had a great game. He scored all three goals and was the difference-maker out there.”

The Broncos came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime in Game 2 Saturday in Swift Current. The Tips have now lost two straight games for the first time this postseason.

“It feels good,” Gawdin said. “I’m happy we got the win, but we need to get two more.”

Everett led 2-1 late in the final period and earned its fourth power play with less than five minutes to go.

But Gawdin tallied his second goal of the game when he dove to smack his own rebound past Hart. The shorthanded goal tied the game 2-2 at 16:43 in the third period and necessitated overtime for the second straight contest.

“I thought their four guys outworked our five,” Williams said. “When that happens you’re probably not going to win too many hockey games.”

Swift Current goaltender Stuart Skinner finished with 37 saves to earn the win in net. Hart recorded 29 saves as the Tips finished with a 39-32 shot advantage.

Everett took a 2-1 in the first period and maintained it until Gawdin’s late tying goal.

“(Gawdin) was OK,” Swift Current head coach Manny Viveiros joked. “Glenn has been our guy all year throughout the whole season. At different times he’s stepped up and that’s what we expect out of him.”

The Tips had their chances to pad the lead. Everett came up empty on two power-play chances in the second period, though an apparent Patrick Bajkov goal on the man advantage was waved off at 1:51 when the officials determined the puck went under the side of the net as it came off the moorings.

Hart stoned a point-blank shot at 3:26 after defenseman Wyatte Wylie gave it away in the Everett zone to maintain the lead. Skinner dove to stop a Matt Fonteyne one-timer from the right circle at 12:30 to keep the Broncos within a goal.

It remained 2-1 through two periods.

Swift Current opened the scoring for the first time in the series, but the Tips answered with a pair of goals to regain the advantage.

Everett’s Riley Sutter tied the game 1-1 when he tipped in Jake Christiansen’s shot from the left point at 15:44.

Then Fonteyne gave Everett the lead when he circled behind the goal and threw the puck netward, where it deflected off Swift Current’s Tanner Nagel and past Skinner for the 2-1 advantage at 18:35.

“When you’re facing a guy like (Skinner) you want to filter pucks to the net and get bodies there,” Fonteyne said. “I don’t think it’s that much of a difference in mindset. I think when you get to the postseason no shot is a bad shot.”

Bajkov appeared to push Everett’s lead to 3-1 with a wrist shot from the left circle 36 seconds later, but the officials had already whistled the play dead. Everett’s Sean Richards and Swift Current’s Josh Anderson received matching minor penalties.

The Broncos scored the first goal when Aleksi Heponiemi left a drop pass for Gawdin at the right circle, and Gawdin rifled a wrister past Hart’s blocker for a 1-0 lead at 14:46.

Swift Current finished 0-for-1 on the power play. Everett was 0-for-4 and surrendered the game-tying shorthanded goal.

For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.

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