EVERETT, Wash. - Tyler Schmidt and Mitch Fadden scored 36 seconds apart midway through the third period to snap a 1-1 tie and help the Tri-City Americans push the Everett Silvertips to the brink with a 4-1 win in Western Hockey League playoff action on Friday night.
The win gives Tri-City a 3-1 lead over Everett in their best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series. The Americans have their first chance to finish things off on Saturday in Kennewick, Wash.
Johnny Lazo and Jason Reese also scored for Tri-City, which swarmed the Everett net all game, outshooting the Silvertips 55-24. Reese assisted on the goals by Schmidt and Fadden, giving him a team-leading seven post-season points.
Chet Pickard made 23 saves to earn the win in goal for the second-seeded Americans, who have had a more difficult time than expected against seventh-seeded Everett. Friday's three-goal margin of victory was the largest of the series for Tri-City, which finished the season with 20 more wins than the Silvertips.
Daniel Bartek scored and Thomas Heemskerk stopped 51 shots in goal for Everett, which lost eight of 10 games against the Americans this season.