KENNEWICK -- The Tri-City Americans have struggled against the Everett Silvertips this season, and Wednesday night was no different.
The Silvertips helped themselves to two big points as Ryan Harrison's power-play goal in the third period ended up being the game winner in a 2-1 victory over the Americans before a mid-week crowd of 4,220 at Toyota Center.
"They always play us tough," said Americans goalie Drew Owsley, who finished with 22 saves. "They don't give you much, and for some reason, they give us a bit of trouble. They trap us, and we don't handle it well."
The Silvertips (28-30-7-4, 67 points) moved from eighth to seventh in the Western Conference standings, one point ahead of Prince George.
"This is huge. This is the biggest win of the year for our group," said Everett coach Craig Hartsburg, whose team ended a seven-game skid. "Our whole last month has been tough, playing Spokane, Portland and Tri. We played well in some of those games and deserved a better fate."
The Americans (41-24-2-2, 86 points), who are cemented in fourth place in the Western Conference, finished their 10-game series with Everett 4-6.
"We weren't sharp, that's for sure," Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. "When it won't go in, you have to stay in the right frame of mind and make it go in. I thought we started to feel sorry for ourselves out there."
The score was 1-1 with 12 minutes left in regulation when Americans forward Brendan Shinnimin lost his cool after the whistle and cross-checked an Everett player.
Harrison scored the deciding goal during the Silvertips' power play.
"I've been working hard lately but haven't had good puck luck," Harrison said. "That was a nice pass by my linemate (Parker Stanfield). We have three games left. We beat a top team, and this gives us confidence going into the weekend."
After Shinnimin left the penalty box, he took a seat on the bench and never touched the ice again.
"That was unacceptable," Hiller said of Shinnimin's penalty. "Nobody is bigger than the team. You can't let your emotions get the better of you."
The Americans outshot the Silvertips 15-6 in the third period but couldn't get anything past Luke Siemens, who had 35 saves.
"We didn't get any bounces," Owsley said. "Both of their goals went in off our guys. It was one of those game where a couple of bad bounces made the difference."
After a scoreless first, the Americans found the net first in the second as Patrick Holland gathered a rebound off a shot by Tyler Schmidt at the right point and found daylight glove side on Luke Siemens at 6:34 for his 22nd goal of the season.
Josh Winquist evened things up at 11:43, redirecting a shot by Ryan Murray in front of the net.
In the first, neither team had any luck finding the net. Carter Ashton had a chance on each side of the net for the Americans, but his shot was wide on one, and the pass was just off the mark on the second.
"It's frustrating, but that's part of hockey," Ashton said. "We are going to be in tight games, we just have to adjust going into the playoffs."
The Silvertips had a breakaway by Stanfield just 1:30 in the game, with just Schmidt between him and Owsley. Schmidt poked the puck loose and turned play the other way.
Everett's Scott MacDonald looked to have a gimme at the left post at 9:20, but Owsley was able to get into position and take the puck in the chest. Five minutes later, Tyler Maxwell rang a shot off the right post.
* Annie Fowler: 509-582-1574; email@example.com