KENNEWICK, WA "“ A post here, a post there and, when all was said and done, the Americans just missed out on winning back-to-back games for the first time in nearly a month.
Kent Simpson stopped 37 shots and four different Everett skaters scored as the visiting Everett Silvertips (11-8-1-3, 26 pts) took down the Tri-City Americans (12-9-1-1, 26 pts) in front of 3,710 fans at the Toyota Center. With the win, Everett has now won three straight and has climbed right back into the thick of the division race. Meanwhile, after taking the first game in the 10-game set, Tri-City dropped their second straight match-up with the Silvertips. It will be almost a month before the division rivals meet again on the final day before the Winter Break.
Looking to parlay their success from the night before into Sunday, Tri-City came out looking to establish a physical presence with the "˜Tips. However, two quick penalties put them behind the 8-ball and, eventually, led to an early deficit. Just 39 seconds after serving a tripping penalty, Brendan Shinnimin headed back to the penalty box when he was called for hooking at the 4:35 mark of the period. With just 9 seconds remaining on the man-advantage, Everett"™s Markus McCrea notched his first goal of the season to give Everett a 1-0 lead.
After taking their one-goal lead into the first break, Everett extended it at the 6:20 mark of the second period. After a nice, individual effort to dig the puck out of the corner, Josh Winquist found Tyler Maxwell in the slot, who beat Drew Owsley to make it 2-0.
Tri-City, though, three minutes later, would cut their deficit in half. While on the power play, Adam Hughesman fired a shot from the right circle just inside the left post, pulling the Americans to within one. It was the second of four power play chances in the period for Tri-City, but the Americans could not connect again.
Meanwhile, with 2:26 remaining in the period, Everett put a serious dent into Tri-City"™s comeback effort. Out to challenge, Owsley had a Winquist shot slip under his pads, only to have the puck sit in the crease just shy of the goal line. But, in swooped Kellan Tochkin, who tapped it in to put Everett back on top by two.
With 6:00 gone in the third period, Jordan Messier brought Tri-City back to within one when his shot from the right circle eluded Simpson. But, less than two minutes later, and after being set-up by McCrea, Clayton Cumiskey walked in all alone on Owsley, slipping a backhander between the goaltender"™s pads.
The Americans pulled Owsley for the final 2:27 to try and get back into the game, but to no avail. Owsley finished the night with 19 saves on 23 shots faced in the loss. Meanwhile, Simpson finished one save shy of matching his season-high (38) in route to his 9th win of the season. Tri-City wound up going 1-for-7 on the power play, while Everett was 1-for-3 on the man-advantage.
Another busy week awaits Tri-City, with three games surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday. First up, the Americans will head across the mountains for a match-up with the resurgent Seattle Thunderbirds (10-5-3-3) on Wednesday, November 24. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at ShoWare Center in Kent. It is the third of nine games between the division rivals. Tri-City currently holds a 2-0 lead in the season series, outscoring the T"™birds 9 to 5 in the process. Seattle, though, comes in having won four of their last five games. Of note, of the T"™birds last eight games, seven have been decided by just one goal, with Seattle holding a 3-2-1-1 record in those games. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL WebTV, at the Americans"™ home away from home, Kimo"™s Sports CafÃ© in Richland. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 6:50 p.m.