The best team in the Western Hockey League can't find an easy way past the Everett Silvertips.
Austin Lotz made 43 saves as the Silvertips staved off elimination Saturday with a 3-2 victory over the top-seeded Portland Winterhawks.
The Winterhawks, who finished the regular season with a league-high 117 points and 60 more than the Silvertips, still lead the first-round series 3-2.
Joshua Winquist and Logan Aasman scored in the first period for the Silvertips, while Reid Petryk cashed in on a breakaway in the second period as Everett built a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes.
Ty Rattie had a prime chance to tie the game for the Winterhawks in the waning seconds, but the puck was cleared off the goal-line by the Silvertips before it went in the net.
Portland goaltender Mac Carruth faced just 18 shots, stopping 15.
Elsewhere it was: Victoria 4, Kamloops 2; Kelowna 4, Seattle 3 and Spokane 3, Tri-City 1.
At Portland, Ore., the Winterhawks went 2 for 5 on the power play, and are 11 for 28 in the series with the man advantage. Everett went scoreless on two opportunities.
The Silvertips have won two of three games played in Portland, while the Winterhawks took Games 3 and 4 in Everett, Wash., by a combined 18-7 margin. Game 6 takes place in Everett on Monday.
Royals 4, Blazers 2
At Kamloops, B.C., Brett Cote scored twice and Patrik Polivka stopped 47 shots to help Victoria cut the Blazers' series lead to 3-2.
Rockets 4, Thunderbirds 3
At Kelowna, B.C., the Rockets held off a late rally to beat Seattle, but still trail the Thunderbirds 3-2 in their series.
Chiefs 3, Americans 1
At Kennewick, Wash., Brenden Kichton scored to help Spokane eliminate the Americans 4-1.
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