The series moves to Kennewick on Monday.
EVERETT — The 15-year wait for the Western Conference championship trophy to return to Everett will have to wait — at least for a few more days.
The Tri-City Americans scored three straight goals to rally for a 5-2 win Saturday night and force Game 6.
The Silvertips still lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 and need one more victory to claim the title. If that doesn’t happen on Monday, Game 7 will be played on Tuesday in Everett.
A nearly sold-out crowd of 7,812 at Angel of the Winds Arena began an early celebration when Connor Dewar just missed tying a Western Hockey League record when he scored seven seconds into the game.
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The Americans were able to slow the Silvertips down despite being outshot 37-24.
“We were outmatched by their desperation after that first goal,” Dewar said. “I thought we should have kept going after that, but we didn’t. We need to go to their place and play a simple game and match their desperation with our own.”
Jusso Valimaki, a first-round pick of the Calgary Flames, tied the game with his first of two goals early in the second period.
Nolan Yaremenko gave Tri-City a 2-1 lead later in the second period and Valimaki, a Finnish prospect, made it 3-1 early in the third.
Both of Valimaki’s goals came as the result of pure skill and make one wonder how he has only four goals in the playoffs.
Parker AuCoin made it 4-1 Tri-City before Dewar scored his second of the game to give Everett some hope.
Michael Rasmussen ended that when he scored his 15th goal of the playoffs into an empty net to all but end it and make the final 5-2.
It was a bit of a soft game for Everett goaltender Carter Hart, who made only 20 saves on 24 shots, far below his typical numbers in the playoffs.
Matt Fonteyne put it simply from Everett’s perspective:
“We got that early goal and just tried to sit on it,” Fonteyne said. “Now we need to regroup and start all over again. We had some chances, some good looks, but (Patrick O’Dea) is a good goalie and played really well tonight. We need to play a full 60 minutes and had some shifts off tonight and they took advantage of it.”
O’Dea, who is 9-3 in the playoffs, made 35 saves in the game, including 34 in a row after giving up the early goal to Dewar.
The Silvertips, winners of the Western Conference championship trophy during their inaugural season as an expansion franchise 15 years ago, travel to Kennewick for Game 6 on Monday.
Everett has won all six of its playoff games on the road but is just 5-4 at home.