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The Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds battle it out in game two of the WHL playoffs.

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Liam Hughes stops 45 shots and Seattle evens the series at one game apiece

Photo Credit
Kaitlyn Price Photography.

What. A. Game.

Playoff hockey at its finest.

Both teams came out playing with a ton of energy, but once again Everett seemed to dominate play from the get go, getting the game’s first 7 shots. They opened the scoring just over 2 minutes into the game, when Fasko-Rudas tipped a shot from the point past Liam Hughes. It started to look like another long night for Seattle, until a cross-checking penalty sent Everett’s Pilon to the box. Austin Strand tied the game with a one-timer from Ottenbreit, and Seattle really seemed to wake up after that.

Seattle would get the game’s next 7 shots on goal, and 2 minutes after Strand’s goal Sami Moilanen buried the third (yes third) rebound past Carter Hart, giving Seattle their first lead of this playoffs. The Birds would take the next penalty however, and Everett put quite a bit of pressure on. Goaltender Liam Hughes decided to match his highly touted counterpart in Everett and made a few key saves to keep Seattle ahead 2-1.

Hughes would make more great saves, but Pilon eventually found a rebound on the backdoor and tapped it in to tie the game just before the first penalty expired to tie the game at 2.

A little over halfway through the second, Seattle would go to the powerplay when Bajkov went off for interference. Just before penalty time expired, Ottenbreit blew an absolute rocket past Hart to give Seattle a 3-2 lead.

It wouldn’t last long. The Tips got some sustained pressure as the second period was winding down. Eventually Pilon was able to circle around the net and find some room in front to lift a shot over the shoulder of Hughes for his second goal of the period.

With 2 minutes left, Riley Sutter collided knee on knee with Jake Lee. Lee would stay down for a time before being helped off the ice, putting no weight on his left leg.

“He’s sore and hobbled,” Coach O’Dette said after the game. “We’ll have to reassess how he is.”

Sutter was given a 5 minute major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct.

Mike MacLean would give the Thunderbirds their lead back at 7:35 when he found a loose puck out front and wristed it over Carter Hart.

The Silvertips took a little more control as the clock started winding down, but couldn’t seem to solve Liam Hughes. Matt Fonteyne had a great chance all alone in front before Hughes blew it up with an outstanding poke-check. With 90 seconds remaining, Everett called their timeout. Carter Hart came out of the net, 6 attackers on the ice for the Tips. Again and again they fired shots at Liam Hughes until finally Garrett Pilon managed to bury a rebound, completing his hat trick and tying the game with just 53 seconds remaining.

To overtime we go.

Both teams played a bit more conservatively in the overtime period, waiting for the other team to make a mistake. Everett got their best chance 5 minutes in, when Matt Fonteyne got around the defense, but his shot missed just wide. Seattle was able to corral the puck and get it up to a streaking Zack Andrusiak.

“Originally I was just going to cut in, try to see if I could shoot,” described Andrusiak. “Their other-d man tried stepping up on me and I saw a little hole that I could pull it through.”

Andrusiak snuck the puck between his legs and split the defense before firing a backhander over the shoulder of Hart for a highlight reel game winner.

The series is now tied 1-1 and moves to Showare Center in Kent this Tuesday at 7:05.