EVERETT, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs erased a third period deficit with under three minutes left in regulation before Riley Whittingham scored the game-winner late in overtime as the Chiefs defeated the Everett Silvertips 4-3 in Game 5 of their first round playoff series. The win forces a Game 6 on Tuesday night at Spokane Arena.
The Chiefs killed two penalties in the first ten minutes of the game and responded with a strong second half to the opening twenty minutes, capped by Markson Bechtold’s first career playoff goal at the 12:19 mark. Keanu Yamamoto one-touched the puck to Bechtold from behind the Everett net and the 18-year-old forward flipped it past Everett goaltender Carter Hart to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
Everett bounced back in the second thanks in large part to an Evan Fiala kneeing major penalty, tying the game with a Carson Stadnyk power play goal on a deflection at the 2:59 mark. Stadnyk’s goal was his fourth of the post-season after a natural hat trick earned in Game 1.
Brayden Low scored his third of the playoffs at the 10:17 mark of the second period, beating Garret Hughson off a feed from Logan Aasman to give the ‘Tips a 2-1 lead.
Spokane’s Liam Stewart scored his ninth career playoff goal just under a minute later, flipping a backhand from the right wing that beat Hart on the near post, tying the game at 2-2.
Silvertips’ captain Kohl Bauml scored his first of the 2015 post-season at the 12:44 mark, chipping the puck past Hughson after Jake Mykitiuk, who scored the double-overtime winner in Game 3, created a scoring chance with a wraparound attempt on the right side.
The Chiefs tilted the ice in the third period, outshooting the Silvertips 14-4, but it looked like they wouldn’t have enough until defenseman Nick Charif scored his first career playoff goal with just 2:18 left in regulation to tie the game at three apiece. Charif fired one toward the Everett net from the right point but had it deflected high into the air. The puck settled in the high slot, where the defenseman was able to corral his own rebound and fire it past Hart for the unassisted goal.
The ice unexpectedly opened up in overtime, with both teams flying up and down the ice and creating multiple chances. Dominic Zwerger looked to have Hart beat on a partial breakaway early in the overtime period but missed it wide. Remi Laurencelle returned the favor on the other end, missing a wide open net from the weak side to keep the Chiefs alive.
Spokane completed the comeback with Whittingham’s goal at the 15:25 mark of the extra frame. Stewart took the puck through the neutral zone and down the left wing with speed before crossing the puck to Whittingham in the slot. Whittingham got just enough of the puck for it to trickle past a prone Hart and send the Chiefs into celebration.
Game 6 against Everett will be at Spokane Arena on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are on sale now via TicketsWest outlets and online at www.ticketswest.com. Group tickets and more will go on sale at the Chiefs’ Ticket Office on Monday morning at 9 a.m.