Silvertips survive to see Game 6
Everett takes a 3-0 lead into the third period Saturday and holds on for the win
The Everett Silvertips werent ready to call it a season just yet. Everett stayed alive in the best-of-seven series by sneaking past Portland, 3-2, in Game 5 of the first round of the WHL playoffs on Saturday. The Winterhawks now cling to a 3-2 series lead.
They played hard. Any time you are facing elimination, you are going to play desperate, Portland coach Travis Green said. They found a way to win a hockey game.
After allowing 18 goals in the previous two games, the Silvertips finally snapped out of their defensive funk in Game 5. Everett goaltender Austin Lotz had 43 saves and he stopped the first 39 Portland shots. The Winterhawks had 45 shots on goal compared to just 18 Everett shots. Portland had its chances, but Lotz was almost flawless in the net.
While the Silvertips did not have nearly as many looks at the net, it made the most shots it did have.
At the midway point of the opening period, Everett left wing Joshua Winquist controlled the puck near the boards in front of the Silvertips bench. Winquist moved it down the left side and fired from just inside the blue line. The puck snuck over the left shoulder of Portland goaltender Mac Carruth and into the top-right corner of the net. It was Winquists sixth goal of the series and it gave Everett the early lead.
About 3:20 later, Everett cleared the puck and slung it along the back boards. That coaxed Carruth from his perch in front of the net as he went back to retrieve the loose puck. Just as Carruth was getting to the puck, an Everett player met him and popped it out in front of the net. Silvertips right wing Logan Aasman was there to receive it and he flipped it into the net before Carruth could get back around to stop him.
In the first period, we didnt manage the puck that well. We had a lot of turnovers, Green said. When were on our game, we are playing with the puck and we manage it a lot better than we did.
In the second period, the Silvertips added to their lead after the clock dipped below the seven-minute mark. The strike came when Lotz stopped a Portland shot and passed the puck to center Kohl Bauml near the Winterhawks bench. As Bauml caught the pass, he spotted Reid Petryk sprinting out in front of the defense. Bauml whipped it to Petryk who took it uncontested from the center line all the way to the goal where he used a double fake to beat Carruth. With that, Everett took a three-goal lead into the second intermission.
When youre down three-nothing in a playoff game, its hard to come back, Green said. I thought we were desperate, but I think at times we were too desperate to try to score.
The Winterhawks got back in the game with two power play goals in the third period. The first came with 14 minutes remaining when Portland defenseman Troy Rutkowski ripped a shot to the right side of the goal. It was going wide, but center Brendan Leipsic deflected the puck out of the air and into the net.
With 1:25 left, Portland made it a one-goal game when Derrick Pouliot took a pass from Rutkowski and poked it past Lotz. The Winterhawks pulled Carruth for the final 80 seconds, and the extra skater almost made the difference. Portland had a few near-goals, but each shot just missed and Everett escaped with the win.
Portland gets its second chance to win the series when the two teams face off in Everett on Monday.