KENNEWICK -- One day after lighting the world on fire with a commanding 8-3 win over rival Spokane, the Tri-City Americans could barely create a spark Sunday.
Markus McCrea and Kellan Tochkin each had a goal and an assist, and Kent Simpson finished with 37 saves to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 4-2 victory over the Americans before a crowd of 3,710 at Toyota Center.
"It's one of 72 games," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller, whose team has lost five of its last six. "Last night was just as important as today, we just didn't push as hard. We needed this (win) to keep the momentum. There is no one to blame but ourselves."
In a close U.S. Division, the Silvertips (11-8-1-3) made a move in the standings, joining Tri-City (12-9-1-1) and Seattle (10-5-3-3) in second place with 26 points.
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"I don't think there will be much separation in this division this year," said Everett associate coach Jay Varady, who is running the team while head coach Craig Hartsburg recovers from heart surgery. "We had a good weekend."
The Silvertips, who have won three straight, put the Americans on their heels early in the first with a power-play goal by Markus McCrea at 6:26.
Everett took a 2-0 lead at 6:20 of the second as Tyler Maxwell found daylight beside Drew Owsley.
Tri-City cut into the Silvertips' lead at 9:28 as Adam Hughesman beat Simpson from the left circle on the power play for his team-leading 14th goal.
And just as it seemed the Americans had found their rhythm, the Silvertips struck back, going out front 3-1 as Tochkin picked up a rebound near the goal line to the right of Owsley and slid the puck home at 17:34.
"We were just standing around watching," Hiller said of his team not clearing the rebounds.
Tri-City's third-ranked power play made good on just 1 of 4 chances in the second as errant passes and poor puck control kept the Americans from getting into the flow. They finished 1-for-7 on the man advantage against the worst penalty kill in the league.
"It was a busy night," Simpson said. "They guys played well in front of me. We knew we needed to get it done here; these points were huge."
After Justin Feser had a would-be goal disallowed 1:14 into the third period -- the puck hit the pipe -- Jordan Messier found the net at 6 minutes, putting the puck over Simpson's left shoulder for a 3-2 game.
But just like before, Everett stormed back.
This time, Clayton Cumiskey got behind the Tri-City defense and went in alone on Owsley for his second goal of the season at 7:50.
Owsley finished with 19 saves but still needs one win to reach 50 for his career.
The Americans had a power play with 3:46 left in regulation and pulled Owsley for an extra attacker for the remainder of the game, but they couldn't capitalize on their chances.
"We tried to adjust things, but we weren't as sharp as we would have liked and we didn't have the traffic in front when shot the puck," Hiller said.
* Annie Fowler: 509-582-1574; email@example.com