EVERETT – Austin Lotz stopped all 29 shots in net and the Everett Silvertips capitalized on crucial scoring opportunities to edge the Tri-City Americans 2-0 Friday night at Comcast Arena. The victory in their first divisional game of the year put the Silvertips’ record at 3-1 as they look to continue the pattern Saturday at home against the Spokane Chiefs.
Lotz (2-1-0-0) recorded his second career shutout in just his third game of the season, making 15 saves in the third period alone to preserve the win. Jujhar Khaira contributed on both Everett goals with a goal and a primary assist, while Josh Winquist added 2 helpers and Carson Stadnyk notched the other ‘Tips goal.
Despite a well-paced game between the teams, the Silvertips registered the game’s only goal through 40 minutes of play. Midway through a scoreless first period, Josh Winquist received a pass up the seam from Patrick Bajkov and raced into the offensive zone. After creating a lane to the net and drawing the defense to him, Winquist slid a brilliant weak-side pass to a charging Jujhar Khaira, who tapped it in to put Everett up 1-0. Shots were 8-5 for the Americans after the first period.
The momentum carried over to the middle frame as both team generated scoring chances. Everett came close to doubling the lead when Winquist released a rocket that clanged off the post and wide, and Khaira nearly deposited a rebound in front as well. With less than five minutes to go in the second, goaltender Austin Lotz stopped Brian Williams on a breakaway to preserve the lead for the ‘Tips. Everett outshot Tri-City 12-6 in the second stanza to take a 17-14 advantage on the shot clock into the final period.
Both goalies continued to shut the door even facing good scoring chances in the last 20 minutes. Lotz made another breakaway save, this time on Lucas Nickles, early in the third. Everett finally grabbed a two-goal cushion on the powerplay after Khaira’s shot caromed off the end boards and back out front, where Carson Stadnyk batted in the bouncing puck on his backhand to make it 2-0. Austin Lotz stoned Nickles once again with a quick glove save among 14 other third-period stops to wrap up his shutout.
Final shots were 29-26 in favor of the Americans, who got 24 saves from Eric Comrie (2-4-0-1) in defeat. The Silvertips scored on their lone powerplay chance of the night and killed off both Tri-City opportunities.
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The Silvertips will now host their third straight home game Saturday night at Comcast Arena, taking on another U.S. Division foe in the Spokane Chiefs at 7:05 pm. The ‘Tips will then hit the road for the first leg of their Alberta road swing, starting a stretch of four games in five days Tuesday in Red Deer.
Season tickets, mini-game packages and six-game packs for the 2013-14 WHL season are available now at the team office. Visit www.EverettSilvertips.com or call 425-252-5100 for more information. To keep up with all the latest team news, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.