Winquist’s two goals gave him 43 on the season, surpassing the four-year-old team record of 42 goals by Shane Harper during the 2009-10 season. Zane Zones scored his first goal as a Silvertip, while Patrick Bajkov and Dawson Leedahl also lit the lamp and both Ivan Nikolishin and Jujhar Khaira pitched in two assists. The ‘Tips built a 4-1 lead by the opening minutes of the third period before Seattle mounted a strong comeback effort, with Austin Lotz (28-18-3-2) making 18 of his 31 saves in the last 20 minutes to help Everett maintain the lead.
Neither team found the back of the net despite close calls for both in an evenly-played first period. The ‘Tips held an 11-8 advantage in shots after 20 scoreless minutes.
The Silvertips opened the scoring at 5:33 of the second as Kevin Davis’ shot from the right boards caromed off goaltender Taran Kozun before Patrick Bajkov tapped in the rebound. Seattle tied the game two minutes later during a 2-on-1 rush when Shea Theodore fired the rebound of a Jaimen Yakubowski shot into an open net. Everett regained the lead later in the period on a nice passing play with Ivan Nikolishin and Jujhar Khaira setting up a wide-open Josh Winquist, who deked to the middle before beating Kozun just inside the near post for his 42nd goal of the year. The ‘Tips had been unsuccessful on their first three powerplays of the night, but made it 3-1 on their fourth as Dawson Leedahl deflected in a shot from Matt Pufahl at 16:12.
Just over two minutes into the third, Remi Laurencelle won a race to a loose puck behind the Seattle net and fed a pass out front to Zane Jones, who zipped it into the top right corner to put Everett on top 4-1. The T-Birds tilted the ice toward Austin Lotz the rest of the way however, getting four powerplay chances and outshooting the Silvertips 19-4 in total. Russell Maxwell jammed in a centering pass from Alexander Delnov on the powerplay to cut the Thunderbirds’ deficit back to two with 12 minutes left. The ‘Tips killed off two more powerplays to maintain the lead, blocking numerous shots and getting a series of saves from a busy Austin Lotz in goal. With the Seattle net empty in the closing minutes, Nikolishin helped spring Winquist free toward the empty net for his record-breaking 43rd of the season to ice the 5-2 win.
Final shots were 33-30 in favor of Seattle, with goaltender Taran Kozun (18-26-2-2) stopping 23 of 27 in 42 minutes before being relieved by Danny Mumaugh for the final 16 minutes. The Silvertips finished 1 for 4 on the powerplay, while the Thunderbirds were 1 for 5 in total.
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After a three-day break the Silvertips complete the regular season with four games in a five-day stretch next week. The ‘Tips return to action with a pivotal matchup in Spokane against the Chiefs Wednesday night at 7:05 pm. Pregame broadcast coverage gets underway at 6:30 on Fox Sports 1380 AM. Then after playing in Victoria on Friday night, the Silvertips return to Comcast Arena for their last home game of the regular season on Saturday, March 15 against the Royals.
Single game tickets for our last regular season home game are available now at the team office, with playoff packages on sale as well.