KELOWNA, BC (ISN) – The Everett Silvertips beat Kelowna goaltender Jordon Cooke just once on their first 29 shots of the game in a 4-2 loss to the Rockets Wednesday night at Prospera Place. The loss combined with Victoria’s 4-3 win over Portland drops Everett back into eighth place in the Western Conference with just two games left in the regular season.
Zach McPhee and Cody Fowlie scored goals for the Silvertips, who put 23 shots on net in the last two periods but didn’t score after the first until the final minute of regulation. The ‘Tips missed on all four of their powerplays in the contest, while the Rockets scored twice on three man-advantage opportunities to build a 4-1 lead in the third period.
Everett didn’t allow a shot in the game’s first seven minutes, but ended up being outshot 12-7 and outscored 2-1 in the first period. Brett Bulmer got Kelowna on the board first at 10:53, moving into the slot during a 3-on-2 before ripping a shot inside the post to open the scoring. The Silvertips tied it on a 2-on-1 just over three minutes later when Manraj Hayer cut around a sliding defender and fed Zach McPhee for the finish in front. The Rockets grabbed a powerplay goal before the period ended however, with Tyson Baillie knocking in the rebound of a long slapshot at 18:10 to put the home team ahead 2-1 after one.
The Silvertips had two powerplays and put 12 shots to the net in the second period, but couldn’t light the lamp to even things up at two. Their best chance came late in the period on a centering feed from Cody Fowlie to Kelowna native Ryan Harrison, who was denied by Jordon Cooke on the doorstep to maintain the Rockets’ 2-1 edge through 40 minutes.
Kelowna seized control of the game in the third however, going up 3-1 on Shane McColgan’s wraparound goal at 6:45. Cody Chikie made it 4-1 on the powerplay three minutes later, depositing the rebound of a Zach Franko shot to put the Rockets in control at 4-1. Everett cut the deficit to 4-2 in the final minute when Harrison rushed the puck down the left boards and centered a pass to Fowlie, who beat Cooke from between the circles with 37 seconds left in regulation.
Kent Simpson (19-30-2-5) made 30 saves in a losing cause, while his counterpart Cooke (9-7-2-3) had 28 saves and was named the game’s first star. Kelowna outshot Everett 34-30 in total for the night.
The ‘Tips will now return to the U.S. and venture to Kennewick, WA to face the Tri-City Americans Friday night at 7:05 pm. Their 2011-12 regular season finale is then set for 7:05 pm Saturday night against the Seattle Thunderbirds at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
Log on to www.everettsilvertips.com to track the Silvertips’ progress on the road during the final days of the WHL regular season. Information on potential first-round postseason schedules and ticket packages will become available in the event the Silvertips officially clinch a playoff spot.