The Everett Silvertips put forth a strong 60-minute effort and got 43 saves from Austin Lotz on the way to a 3-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks in Game 5 of their opening-round WHL playoff series Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum. The win brings Everett back within a 3-2 series deficit and forces the series back to Everett for a Game 6 Monday night at Comcast Arena.
The Silvertips built a 3-0 lead through two periods on goals from Josh Winquist, Logan Aasman (his first playoff goal) and Reid Petryk. Although Everett was outshot 45-18 in the contest, Lotz (2-3) held the Winterhawks scoreless through 46 minutes before Portland made things close in the final minutes.
Everett looked strong in the first period, staying disciplined and getting 15 saves from Austin Lotz to keep Portland off the scoreboard. Josh Winquist then put the Silvertips on top at 10:19, wiring a hard wrist shot past Mac Carruth’s glove during a 2-on-2 rush to give the ‘Tips their first lead since Game 2. Shortly after Troy Rutkowski hit the crossbar on a chance in the Everett zone, Logan Aasman chipped a puck behind the Portland net. Carruth came behind the net to play the puck, but it rolled off his stick and in front to Aasman for a tap-in goal and a 2-0 Silvertips lead after 20 minutes.
It was up to the ‘Tips penalty killing unit to protect the lead in the second period, which they did successfully with three solid penalty kills. After two Portland powerplays, a back-and-forth sequence led to Everett’s third goal. Portland reversed an Everett rush with a quick feed to Ty Rattie, but the puck bounced off his stick and was fired out of the zone by Austin Lotz. Kohl Bauml picked it up at center and fed a clean breakaway pass to Reid Petryk, who cut to his backhand and beat Carruth inside the far post to make it 3-0 Silvertips. The ‘Tips killed off a third Portland powerplay to close the period and take that lead into the locker room.
The Winterhawks finally broke through in the third period on their fourth powerplay of the night. Troy Rutkowski’s point blast was tipped into the top corner by Brendan Leipsic at 5:59, making it a 3-1 game with time to spare. Everett held Portland at bay until the final minutes, when another powerplay and a 6-on-4 advantage with the net empty lead to Derrick Pouliot’s goal with only 1:25 remaining. The ‘Hawks had one last chance when Ty Rattie sent the puck through the goal crease with five seconds to go, but the ‘Tips cleared the zone to finish the 3-2 victory.
Everett finished 0 for 2 on the powerplay, while Portland scored on the last two of their five opportunities. Mac Carruth (3-2) finished with 15 saves while taking the loss for the ‘Hawks.
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Game 6 is now set for Monday night at Comcast Arena with the Silvertips once again looking to continue the series with the Winterhawks. Join us for the 7:05 pm opening faceoff as the Silvertips look to force a deciding Game 7 Wednesday night back in Portland.
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