EVERETT — A poor start and a worse finish by the Seattle Thunderbirds combined with a desperate Everett Silvertips hockey team means there will be a Game 5, at least, before this Western Hockey League playoff series is over.
Everett won 6-1 on Friday, but Seattle still leads the best-of-seven series three games to one. Neither team will have long to dwell on the mismatch, with the next game in the series scheduled in Kent less than 24 hours after this one ended.
Jujhar Khaira had a hat trick for Everett, which overcame its special-team disadvantage in the first three games by scoring two power-play goals and one shorthanded.
“We’re just taking it game by game. Survive and advance,” Khaira said. “We got through this one, and tomorrow is a new day.”
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Khaira, who had 16 goals in the regular season, scored his first three of the playoffs.
“I’ve been getting a lot of chances, and it’s nice when the bounces go in,” Khaira said.
Everett led 3-0 before the game was eight minutes old and Seattle had a single shot. By then, Everett had six shots and three had gone into the net.
“They jumped on us and we weren’t ready to play,” Seattle coach Steve Konowalchuk said. “They had a good start and we had a bad start, and that was the game. We had as many turnovers in that first period as we did in the first three games. Give them credit. They played a good hockey game and we weren’t sharp.”
Konowalchuk is glad his team won’t have long to dwell on the loss and will focus on the fact that Seattle can win the series with a win at home on Saturday.
“It’s good to get back at it,” he said. “We need to get back to our game. As bad as that game was, as bad as we played and as good as they played, it’s only one loss. It’s the same as an overtime loss or victory.”
If there was a loose puck, a player wearing white and green got to it first. The onslaught began early when Khaira skated out from behind the Seattle net unchecked and floated a backhanded shot over Taran Kozun and into the net only 1:27 into the game.
A shorthanded goal was next, the first of the series by Josh Winquist, who had an Everett franchise record of 47 during the regular season. Brayden Low was next with a score that made it 3-0.
Seattle showed a little life when Jared Hauf scored his first goal of the playoffs on a shot from the point late in the second period, but Everett quickly regained its dominance in the game with a power-play goal by Khaira and one by Carson Stadnyk just after a power play had ended.
“We just have to get back and play our game,” Konowalchuk said. “We need to correct our mistakes. They were beating us to the net all game long, and that hasn’t happened all series.”
Seattle left winger Jaimen Yakubowski sat out the game, serving a one-game suspension for a checking-from-behind penalty on Everett defenseman Noah Juulsen that drew a double minor in Game 3. Juulsen also did not play in Game 4.