Killing off a five-minute power play completes an impressive weekend for Everett
KENT — Two teams suddenly heading in opposite directions met Sunday night and that wasn’t a good thing for the Seattle Thunderbirds.
The Everett Silvertips killed off a five-minute major penalty in the third period to protect a one-goal lead and eventually score a key 2-1 decision for their third victory in three nights.
Seattle, which lost its eighth in a row in Western Hockey League action, falls to 18-22-4-5 and stays in 10th and last place in the Western Conference and in imminent danger of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Everett, which began the weekend on the bottom, is up to seventh place with a 19-23-3-4 record.
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The game turned in the third period with Everett clinging to a 2-1 lead when Ryan Harrison, who scored the goal to put Everett in the lead, was hit with a five-minute major checking-from-behind penalty.
Unfortunately for Seattle, Brendan Dillon was knocked into the net on the play and needed to go to the locker room with an injury.
By the time Dillon returned to the Seattle bench, only seconds remained in the penalty and the Thunderbirds managed only two shots. With Travis Bobbee and Ryan Button already out with injuries, Seattle went with five forwards for most of the time and never was able to get organized.
“Our power play is based around Dillon and we didn’t have him,” Seattle coach Rob Sumner said. “It was a great opportunity, but we didn’t get it done.”
Ryan Murray, who scored early to give the Silvertips a 1-0 lead, said the three victories on consecutive nights could turn Everett’s season around.
“We’ve definitely been playing a lot better hockey,” Murray said. “We’re just playing more as a team and following our system a lot better. It’s definitely a step forward. We’re working a lot harder and getting a lot more turnovers because we’re just skating harder than we were before.”
Murray, who at 17 is the youngest captain in Everett’s history, opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 11:50 of the opening period. The T-birds tied it with a goal by Dillon at 12:44 of the second period before Harrison scored on an innocent-looking shot that might have bounced off a Seattle defender and through goaltender Calvin Pickard.
The defeat drops Seattle to 7-12-1-3 at home.