After losing seven consecutive games, the Everett Silvertips were due for something to go their way.
On Friday night, the Silvertips got 35 saves from Austin Lotz and outworked the Tri-City Americans for a 3-0 victory before a disappointed crowd of 3,667 at Toyota Center.
"From nine to zero," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller, whose team beat Vancouver 9-1 last Sunday. "We're really disappointed. What can we do? We have the best team in the league (Kamloops) coming in here tomorrow. Let's see if we are up to the challenge. We weren't tonight."
The Americans (12-7-1-1, 26 points), in the midst of an eight-game homestand, saw their three-game win streak come to an end while Portland and Spokane increased their leads in the U.S. Division standings with wins Friday night.
The Silvertips (7-13-0-2, 16 points) had lost all four meetings against Tri-City this season prior to Friday.
"Through this whole stretch, they have done everything we have ask them to do, except win," Everett coach Mark Ferner said. "It has been hard on them emotionally. Hopefully we can carry this through. I am proud of their effort tonight."
Lotz was simply outstanding the entire game, stopping 15 shots in the first period and 11 in the third when the Americans went into desperation mode.
"This was huge for me," said Lotz, who picked up just his first career shutout and second win of the season. "The team played really well and they took care of the rebounds for me. We haven't won for a couple of games here and we knew we had to take advantage of anything we got. It turned out pretty good for us."
Everett had a 2-0 lead after two periods, but Tri-City came out with a little fire in third trying to get back in the game.
Drydn Dow's shot from the point at 8:15 skipped off the goalie's pads and into the corner. Moments later, Marcus Messier found himself alone going in on Lotz, but he shot the puck off Lotz's pad and play continued.
The Americans' sloppy play, which haunted them the first two periods, followed them into the third, as a turnover by Mitch Topping led to the Silvertips' third goal by Stathis Soumelidis at 11:55.
"It didn't start that way," Hiller said of the sloppy play. "We had energy and we had chances, then backed off. We went our own way, and when you do that, you get what you deserve."
The Americans, who held a 15-6 shot advantage in the first, found themselves down 1-0 at the end of the period.In one of the few moments of sustained pressure by Everett in Tri-City's zone, Trent Lofthouse redirected a shot from the point by Mirco Muello past Eric Comrie at 18:20 to give the Silvertips a 1-0 lead.
Everett parlayed its 1-0 lead into a 2-0 advantage just 47 seconds into the second period as Kohl Bauml got his stick on a rebound from a shot out front by Mueller and put the puck between Comrie's pads.
The Americans picked up their third power play at 12:47, but managed jut two shots on goal. Through two periods, they were 0-for-3 on the man advantage with just four shots on goal.
Comrie finished with 22 saves for the Americans, who were shut out for the second time this season. The last time Tri-City was shut out on home ice was Jan. 5, 2008, by Spokane.
Notes: Tri-City captain Justin Feser played his 300th WHL game. He is one of only eight Tri-City players to reach the 300-game milestone. He joins Brent Ascroft (355), Dylan Stanley (339), Adam Hughesman (338), Ian McDonald (329), Jason Beeman (326), Tyler Schmidt (320) and Kruise Reddick (315). Americans Zach Yuen played his 205th game Friday. ... Everett F Josh Winquist has missed nine consecutive games with a groin pull and mononucleosis, while F Manraj Hayer has missed six consecutive games with an upper-body injury.