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Silvertips win in OT as Hawks play at Veterans Memorial Coliseum (without fans) for the first time in more than a year.

COURTESY PHOTO: MATT WOLFE/PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS - Simon Knak reacts after scoring a shorthanded goal for the Portland Winterhawks on Friday in their first game of the season at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Everett Silvertips won the game 2-1 in overtime.Cole Fonstad scored with 43 seconds left in overtime Friday, March 26, to lift the Everett Silvertips to a 2-1 win over the Portland Winterhawks in a Western Hockey League game at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The game featured tremendous goalie play at both ends of the rink. Fonstad, who was robbed twice in the OT by Portland's Dante Giannuzzi, was able to take advantage with the Hawks' goalie scrambling to recover after denying a two-on-zero Everett breakaway.

Simon Knak scored a shorthanded goal for Portland in the second period, answering an opening goal from Gage Goncalves early on.

Everett is 4-0-0-0 for eight points atop the U.S. Division. Portland has two wins and two OT losses for six points four games into the 24-game season.

Winterhawks VP/GM/coach Mike Johnston praised his team's performance.

"For this time of the year, that was almost a playoff game tonight," Johnston said. "Just the energy on the bench, the coaching strategies, how the players knew each other. It was very close to playoff form, and it's been a long time since guys have really had that."

Giannuzzi finished with 32 saves. Everett's Dustin Wolf stopped 35 of 36 Portland shots.

Johnston noted that neither goalie allowed many rebound chances.

"Both goaltenders played great. It was a head-to-head battle," Johnston said. "There was a lot of line matching going on on both sides. It was physical. It was quick."

Wolf has stopped 105 of 106 shots faced this season. Knak joined a rush with Jaydon Dureau and beat Wolf from close range. It was the second goal of the season for Knak, both coming shorthanded.

Wolf stopped four shots in the three-on-three overtime, including a close-range chance for Knak.

Two of Giannuzzi's four overtime saves denied Fonstad before he found space to rip a quick wrister past the Portland goalie.

Both teams finished 0 for 3 on the power play.

The Winterhawks head to Kent for games Saturday and Sunday against the Seattle Thunderbirds. Both games start at 5:05 p.m. Saturday's game will be televised on KRCW.


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