SATURDAY WHL RECAP/Silvertips take quick lead, cash in bounces to beat Portland 6-0, square playoff series 1-1

Flipping the script from Game 1, the Everett Silvertips played with more urgency on Saturday, beating the Portland Winterhawks 6-0 to even the Western Hockey League playoff series at a game apiece.

Patrick Bajkov had three goals and one assist for the Silvertips, who scored early and played well with the lead.

Everett goalie Carter Hart made 26 saves.

Game 3 is 7 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Coliseum.

Saturday's game was played with heavy hearts as the hockey community mourned the lives lost in a Friday bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos, a junior hockey team in Saskachewan. At least 15 people died in the accident involving a tractor-trailer.

Johnston said two Winterhawks players had close friends who died in the accident. Portland coach Mike Johnston declined to identify those Portland players. Everett jumped in front just 1:02 into Saturday's game as Sean Richards redirected a point shot out of the air and past goalie Cole Kehler.

Bajkov made the score 2-0 Everett at the end of a three-on-two rush, using a nifty move to get Kehler off balance 13:27 into the game.

A pair of fortunate bounces allowed the Tips to double that lead early in the second period.

First, a point shot from Wyatte Wylie hit traffic in and landed on the stick of Martin Fasko-Rudas with an open net at 3:23. Next, on an Everett power play, Portland's Skyler McKenzie got in the path of a shot, only to have the puck go to Bajkov alone to the left of the goal with an open net to shoot at.

The fifth Everett goal was scored by Garrett Pilon on a rebound after a pad save by Kehler at 15:13 of the third period.

Despite giving up three goals in the second period, Johnston called it a strong 20 minutes from his team.

"I thought the second period we actually played a good period and they had some weird bounces that ricocheted right over to their sticks and they had great opportunities to score," Johnston said.

Shane Farkas took over in goal for the third period, his first action of these playoffs, and stopped nine of 10 shots with Bajkov's second power-play goal of the night with 1:35 into the game.

Portland was 0 for 3 on the power play. Everett was 2 for 3 with a man advantage.

Hart's best save in the win came on a late chance in front for Portland's Cody Glass off the rush.

Hart also denied Glass on the rush with the score 4-0 in the second period and on the same sequence turned away a quality back-hand chance for Ryan Hughes. Also in the second period, Dennis Cholowski missed on a breakaway chance. And the defenseman hit a post with a first-period shot.

"They were better than us in the first 10 (minutes). We were better than them in the second (period). Once they had a 5-0 lead, it was hard to get anything generated," Johnston said.

Johnston did not provide an update on Lane Gilliss. The Portland forward left the ice during the third period and did not return.

The night started with the teams joining each other at center ice for a moment of silence and both the Canadian and American national anthems in honor of the lives lost in the Saskatchewan bus accident.

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