Everett, WA – After falling behind 3-0 early in the third period, the Tri-City Americans (27-29-3-5, 62 pts.) mounted a valiant comeback effort, scoring two goals to get within one. But, the Everett Silvertips (32-23-7-2, 73 pts.) would hold off the late charge, defeating the Americans 3-2 at the Comcast Arena in Friday night.
It was the eighth consecutive loss for the Americans, who have now lost each of their last three contests by one goal, including its previous two in shootouts. Tri-City still holds a two point lead for the eighth and final playoff spot, after the Prince George Cougars (26-33-3-5, 60 pts.) lost earlier in the evening.
The Silvertips took control of the game right out of the gates, taking the lead just 1:46 into the game, when Carson Stadnyk skated around the Americans net and snapped it past Eric Comrie. Everett continued to dominate the play after taking the early lead, registering the first 10 shots of the game, holding Tri-City without a shot until the 11:52 mark.
The Silvertips extended its lead at 8:46 of the first period, when Jujhar Khaira scored on the power play, capitalizing on a Justin Gutierrez interference penalty.
Comrie made 14 saves in the first period, keeping his team in the game after being outshot 16-3 in the opening 20 minutes.
After a scoreless second period, the Americans entered the third frame looking to cut into the Silvertips two-goal lead. But, at 1:19, it would be Everett who would extend its lead with Manraj Hayer’s 14th goal of the season.
Just when it looked like the Americans were out of it, Lucas Nickles got his team right back in the game, taking the pass from Brian Williams on a 2-on-1 break and back handing the puck past Austin Lotz, trimming the Everett lead back down to two.
Then, with under five minutes remaining and Kohl Bauml off for holding, Tri-City pulled Comrie to give itself a 6-on-4 advantage. While the team would go scoreless on the power play, Parker Bowles would bury the loose puck during the 6-on-5 odd man opportunity, pulling the Americans within one goal.
The Americans pushed in the final two minutes, playing with the empty net the entire time, forcing Lotz to make several key saves. But, Tri-City was unable to tie the game with a third goal.
The Americans will be back in action tomorrow night, when the team takes on the arch rival Spokane Chiefs (36-22-3-3, 78 pts.) at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena for another Saturday night showdown. Fans can catch the action live, via WHL Live, at the Americans’ official home away from home, Kimo’s in Richland.
Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Kohl Bauml, Everett
2) Jujhar Khaira, Everett
3) Carson Stadnyk, Everett