Tips Torpedo T-Birds in Shootout

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(ISN) – KENT, – The Everett Silvertips defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-2 in a shootout Saturday night in what was the eighth overtime game of the season for Seattle. The loss drops Seattle to 9-11-2-2, four points back of the Spokane Chiefs in the U.S. Division. Everett is now 15-4-2-1 on the season and leads the division.

Taran Kozun got the start in the second night of a back-to-back. The 20-year-old stopped 29 of 31 shots but came away with the shootout loss. Kozun is now 8-8-2-2 on the season. Austin Lotz was in net for Everett and had 31 saves on 33 shots. Lotz also stopped all five shooters in the shootout to get the win. His record is now 11-3-1-1.

Carter Cochrane scored the only goal in a five-round shootout, giving Everett the win. Cochrane stickhandled deep into the slot and let loose with a wrist shot that flew past Kozun before the goaltender could grab it.

Overtime saw few chances, with the Silvertips recording the best three minutes in. An Everett pass found one of their forwards skating hard into the slot after a line change, but Kozun beat the puck away.

Everett led in shots in overtime 3-1 while Seattle led in faceoffs 3-2.

Keegan Kolesar had a dangerous scoring opportunity less than a minute into the game on Seattle’s first offensive possession. A sharp angle shot was fought off by Lotz and dribbled back into the slot. Kolesar reached the puck without pressure and let loose with a rocket of a shot. Unfortunately for the T-Birds, Lotz tracked the puck and was able to kick across the crease in time to get a piece of it.

Everett earned the game’s first power play after a big hit in the neutral zone was ruled to be a charge. Three clearances as soon as the Silvertips entered the zone left Everett with just one shot on goal during their advantage, while Seattle recorded two on said clears.

Patrick Bajkov scored the game’s first goal for Everett, making it 1-0 at 14:02. Bajkov sent a spinning wrist shot past Kozun as the Silvertip winger skated across the faceoff circle. Kohl Bauml and Nikita Scherbak had assists on the goal.

Calvin Spencer sent a shot of the post with 3:51 left in the first period. The shot came after Scott Eansor knocked down a high pass in the neutral zone and left a drop pass for Spencer in the faceoff circle.

Shots in the first period were tied at eight a piece. Faceoffs were 11-8 Seattle.

Donovan Neuls worked a pass across the mouth of the goal five minutes into the second period for the home team’s best chance of the early going. Spencer was on the doorstep for the pass but had gotten turned around by the defense, leaving him unable to get his stick on the puck as it slid by. Soon thereafter Everett took a penalty to give the T-Birds their first power play.

Kolesar tied the game a minute into the power play with his seventh goal of the season. Ryan Gropp made a pass across the zone to Jerret Smith, who pinched in deep and let loose with a shot. Smith’s shot rebounded onto Kolesar’s stick. Kolesar was able to fire away with a backhand shot facing away from the goal and beat Lotz to make it 1-1.

The visitors took another penalty on the ensuing shift, giving the T-Birds a chance to take the lead while riding the momentum of their first goal. Gropp deked past the defense for a golden opportunity but saw his pass blocked by a diving Silvertip defenseman. A Shea Theodore shot from the point was deflected and just bounced off Lotz’s shoulder and over the crossbar soon thereafter. Despite spending almost the entire two minutes in the offensive zone, Seattle couldn’t quite get their second goal, and the game remained tied at one.

Justin Hickman fed Eansor on a rush with a minute remaining for another great chance. Hickman beat the defense after flipping the puck into the zone and threw it in front of the net as he skated behind. Eansor was there and met the puck as Lotz did, ending with the puck bouncing away to the boards and the net coming off its mooring.

Seattle led in shots in the second period 13-9 and in faceoffs 14-11.

Hickman gave Seattle the lead 17 seconds into the third period. Eansor brought the puck up the ice after deking a Silvertip in the defensive zone. His pass to Hickman left the captain with a clean shot from the faceoff dot. Hickman’s shot beat Lotz and bounced off the inside of the crossbar to make it 2-1.

The T-Birds didn’t let up the pressure after taking the lead. Neuls sent a shot off Lotz that took an odd ricochet and nearly bounced into the net after a huge hit by Evan Wardley gave Seattle possession. The counterattack by Everett was broken up by a poke check from Kozun, who was forced to stand tall after the Silvertips beat Seattle’s defense back. Kozun made short work of another attack from the visitors a minute later, covering the puck with his outstretched leg after a shot bounced off the end boards back in front.

The Hickman-Eansor combination almost scored again with nine minutes remaining in the third. Hickman was able to wrestle the puck away from the defense in the zone. His centering pass found Eansor with an empty net ahead of him, but the shot was blocked by a diving defenseman.

The Silvertips tied the game on the power play with 2:40 left. Graham Millar tipped a point shot from Ivan Nikolishin past Kozun to make it 2-2. Noah Juulsen had the secondary assist on the goal.

Shots in the third period were tied 11-11 and faceoffs were 11-10 Seattle.

Seattle travels up to Everett for their next game on Friday against the Silvertips at 7:35 pm. After that, the T-Birds will host the Kootenay Ice on Saturday at 7:05 pm.

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