KENNEWICK (ISN) – The Everett Silvertips found themselves trailing 3-0 just over nine minutes in and couldn’t manage to recover in a 7-2 defeat to the Tri-City Americans in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Friday night at the Toyota Center.
The Silvertips will now attempt to even the best-of-seven series at one game apiece Saturday night in Game 2.
Ryan Murray scored one of Everett’s goals and assisted on the other by JT Barnett, but the Silvertips trailed by at least three throughout the last two periods. The ‘Tips were outshot 42-16 in total and went scoreless on four powerplay chances, while the Americans finished 1 for 7 on the man-advantage.
Tri-City scored a powerplay goal just over three minutes in when Jesse Mychan had time to beat Kent Simpson from the slot to open the scoring. The Americans then scored twice in 17 seconds to take a 3-0 advantage, starting with Malte Stromwall putting in a rebound chance in front and then Mason Wilgosh picking up a loose puck after a blocked shot and firing it into the top corner at 9:07. The Silvertips countered less than two minutes later as Ryan Murray took a Reid Petryk pass and blasted a slapshot past Ty Rimmer to make it 3-1. Everett trailed 4-1 after one period however after Connor Rankin tapped in a Stromwall pass on the doorstep in the final minute of the first.
The Ams made it 5-1 midway through the second as Adam Hughesman worked his way to the front before roofing a shot into the top corner to end Kent Simpson’s night. It appeared the deficit was stretched to 6-1 after Austin Lotz had entered the game, but the goal was waved off on the ruling that Brendan Shinnimin kicked the puck in. The ‘Tips then cut back into the lead late in the period as JT Barnett re-directed Murray’s centering pass into the net at 17:53 to pull Everett within 5-2 going into the locker room.
Thoughts of a comeback were stamped out in the third however, as the Silvertips managed only three shots on goal compared with 12 for Tri-City. Stromwall added his second of the night and Brian Williams also found the net in the last seven minutes to give the Americans the 7-2 decision.
Kent Simpson (0-1) took the loss after stopping 18 of 23 shots in the first 28 minutes before relieved by Lotz, who finished with 17 saves on 19 shots. Ty Rimmer (1-0) turned aside 14 of the 16 shots he faced on the way to his first career playoff win.
The teams will be right back on the ice to continue the series Saturday with Game 2 here in Kennewick. The best-of-seven series will then shift to Everett for Games 3 and 4, which will be played in front of the Silvertips faithful on Tuesday and Wednesday at Comcast Arena. All seven games in the series start at 7:05 pm.