Everett Silvertips (3) at Tri-City Americans (1)
Everett leads series 3-1
Game 5: Saturday, April 28 – Angel of the Winds Arena, Everett, Wash. – 7:05 p.m. PT
Call Thursday’s performance another ordinary 60 minutes, with an extraordinary result for the Everett Silvertips.
The visiting Silvertips remained perfect on the road in the 2018 WHL Playoffs as goals from Riley Sutter, Reece Vitelli, and captain Matt Fonteyne helped the team’s offence flourish while that Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) guy was okay too, making 29 saves on 30 shots for his league-leading 11th win in the 2018 post-season.
A scoreless first saw both Hart and Americans goaltender Patrick Dea start strong, with the duo combining for 18 saves.
The Silvertips would continue to press as they have done throughout this post-season, eventually finding a crack in the Americans’ armour and exploiting it. Sutter found that crack 9:48 into the second period.
After one Silvertips’ chance was thwarted and the Americans attempted to clear the zone, the 2018 NHL Draft prospect picked up the puck at the blue line, evaded one defender by banking it off the wall, and then over-powered a stick-less Americans’ defender before having a clear shot on Dea, which he made no mistake on to open the scoring.
Less than eight minutes later, the Silvertips found the scoreboard for a second time as Reece Vitelli slipped past the Americans’ defence, creating an odd-man rush and electing to keep the puck and shoot, beating Dea to double the lead for the U.S. Division Champions.
The Americans would have a response, which featured Riley Sawchuk beating Hart for his second of the post-season 5:45 into the third, but that’s as close as they’d come on this night. A late empty-net goal was credited to the captain Fonteyne when he was tripped up with the open cage staring him down in the final minute to add another goal to the Silvertips’ performance.
After stopping all 20 shots in the first 40 minutes, Hart had nine saves on 10 shots in the third. Dea had a near-perfect experience as well, stopping 23 of 25 shots, but the game was another example in what has been a season of frustration for offences against the Silvertips.
Bryce Kindopp and Ondrej Vala (Dallas Stars) added assists for the Silvertips. Maxwell James and Juuso Valimaki (Calgary Flames) had the assists on Sawchuk’s goal.
All four goals in the game came at even strength, with the Silvertips going 0-for-2 and the Americans 0-for-3 on the man-advantage.
#WHLPlayoffs schedule for Saturday, April 28
Game 5 – Lethbridge Hurricanes at Swift Current Broncos – 7:00 p.m. MT (Series tied 2-2)
Game 5 – Tri-City Americans at Everett Silvertips – 7:05 p.m. PT (EVT leads 3-1)