Silvertips clinch playoff spot, extend win-streak to seven with 3-1 victory over Kamloops
Silvertips (38-12-8-2) entered Saturday night’s home game against Kamloops (37-21-2-4) looking to extend their win-streak to seven games. All-the-while, a playoff spot was on the line.
After scoring two goals in the opening minutes of the game, Everett earned their playoff spot and took down the Blazers 3-1 in the pair’s final matchup of the season.
It was expected to be a tight affair as the teams with the two best goals-against averages faced-off in the late-season battle. And for :54 seconds of the the opening session it was until Everett’s left wing Matt Fonteyne netted his 16th of the year to give the Silvertips a 1-0 lead. Right wing Patrick Bajkov and defenseman Kevin Davis assisted on the play.
Five minutes later, Everett posted their second tally of the game when winger Patrick Bajkov picked up his 25th goal and second point of the game as he finished the play started by Davis and left wing Dominic Zwerger to give the Silvertips a 2-0 lead after one.
The Silvertips defense got a bit shaky in the second as Everett allowed the Blazers to fire-off 19 shots at Carter Hart in net and managed to return fire at Blazers’ goalie Dylan Ferguson only 5 times.
Everett woke up again offensively in the third as the team outshot the Blazers 12-11.
The Silvertips would capitalize mid-way through the third as the team benefited from a turnover in the Blazers’ zone as right wing Eetu Tuulola corralled the puck along the boards and circled out in front to wrist home his 16th of the year and give Everett a 3-0 lead with 9:36 to play in the game.
Kamloops managed to break-up Carter Harts’ shoutout bid when Blazers center Lane Bauer sent home his 36th of the year with less than a minute remaining in the game.
The Blazers pulled their goalie to gain the manned advantage but too little to late. Everett earned the victory although being outshot 36-27 in the contest.
After failing to earn a victory in his last seven tries before the team’s current winning streak, it look as if goalie Carter Hart has has regained his MVP form as the net minder started between the pipes for each of the Silvertips’ last eight victories. Hart owns the best goals against average in the league by far with his less than two goals a game mark of 1.91.
The Silvertips earned their 38th victory in front of one of the largest crowds of the season at Xfinity Arena with 6377 fans checking in for the playoffs clinching victory.
Everett heads crosstown to the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington to face the Seattle Thunderbirds (38-18-3-2) on Sunday night