Time and time again, the Everett Silvertips have watched the Tri-City Americans skate away with a victory on Teddy Bear Toss night at Toyota Center.
After three failed attempts to put a damper on the Americans’ festivities, the Silvertips finally overcame the curse of the furry animals for a 3-2 win Friday before a generous crowd of 5,248.
Tri-City had a late power play and pulled goalie Evan Sarthou the final minute of the game for an extra attacker, but could not score the equalizer.
“We had a good start, but we let them get some life with an unforced turnover that led to a goal,” Tri-City coach Mike Williamson said. “We need to find a way to keep the puck out of our net. Our power play had success early and we had other chances (2-for-6 on the night); we just couldn’t get that other goal.”
The Americans are at Spokane tonight. The Chief are coming off a 5-1 loss at Seattle.
“It’s a quick turnaround,” Williamson said. “This was a big game; we have to get turned around for Spokane.”
Everett (16-10-0-2, 34 points) used a power-play goal by Graham Millar at 15:09 of the second period to break a 2-2 tie that had stood since the end of the first period.
Less than two minutes later, Millar picked up 4 minutes in the penalty box for high sticking. The Americans failed to take advantage the first 2:41 of the power play before the period ended and couldn’t find the net on the final 1:19 to start the third.
The Americans (11-18-1-0, 23 points), who are 11-3 with one tie on teddy bear night, collected 2,687 stuffed animals for local charities.
Watching the fur fly
It didn’t take long for the teddy bears and their furry friends to come flying from the stands.
Working on the power play, Juuso Välimäki, with an assist from Michael Rasmussen, beat Everett goalie Carter Hart at 2:07 of the first period, bringing down a shower of stuffed animals. It was the first teddy bear goal by a defenseman since Logan Stephenson’s goal in 2005.
“Every time when you score a goal, it is a good feeling,” Välimäki said. “When you score a special goal like this, it is amazing. We don’t have anything like this in Finland. This is so nice; it goes to a good cause.”
Välimäki’s goal gave the Americans a 1-0 lead, which turned into a 2-0 advantage with a power-play goal by Vladislav Lukin at 15:32.
The Silvertips finally righted the ship late in the first period. Remi Laurencelle scored at 15:48, and Dawson Leedahl made it 2-2, redirecting a shot by Brysen Martin past Sarthou at 18:31.
“We have to be more careful with the puck, and score when we need to,” Välimäki said. “It’s always tough when you play good and not get the win. We are in every game.”
Michael Rasmussen and Tyler Sandhu each had two assists for the Americans, while Sarthou finished with 22 saves.
Silvertips 3, Americans 2
First — 1, TC, Välimäki 5 (Rasmussen, Sandhu), 2:07 (pp), 2, TC, Lukin 8 (Sandhu, Rasmussen), 15:32 (pp). 3, Evt, Laurencelle 14 (Leedahl), 15:48. 4, Evt, Leedahl 6 (Martin, Laurencelle), 18:31 (pp). Penalties — Fonteyne, Evt (boarding), 1:31; James, TC (hooking), 12:00; King, Evt (high-sticking), 14:39; Lukin, TC (high-sticking), 17:46.
Second — 5, Evt, Millar 7 (Sutter, Fonteyne), 15:09 (pp). Penalties — Millar, Evt (tripping), 4:03; Bowles, TC (hooking), 14:41; TC bench (too many men, served by AuCoin), 16:08; Millar, Evt, double minor (high-sticking), 17:19.
Third — Xyzy. Penalties — James, TC, double minor (checking from behind), 2:28; Fonteyne, Evt (embellishment), 7:24; Bowles, TC (tripping), 7:24; Laurencelle, Evt (high-sticking), 14:41.
Shots — Evt 12-10-— 25. TC 10-5-9 — 24. Power plays — Evt 2-6. TC 2-6. Goalies — Evt, Hart 16-9-0-2 (24 shots-22 saves). TC, Sarthou 10-17-1-0 (25-223 ). Referees — Sean Raphael and Nick Swaine. A — 5,248.