Everett scores late to upend Seattle Thunderbirds
Dawson Leedahl scores winner in game marred by 93 penalty minutes
Special to The Seattle Times
KENT — Last season it took until the final day of the regular season for Everett and Seattle to decide which one would advance to the Western Hockey League playoffs and which one would stay home.
It might take that long again this season.
Everett, which made it last season, closed to one point of seventh-place Seattle with a 4-3 victory in a battle so intense the goaltenders ended up in a fight with actual punches thrown.
The winning goal by Everett's Dawson Leedahl came with just less than three minutes left and Seattle goaltender Brandon Glover down well in front of the goal.
Glover, who had been called for a penalty minutes earlier for playing the puck outside of the trapezoid, made a heated case to the referees that he had been tackled and then pounded his stick on the glass after Leedahl's power-play goal.
Minutes later, Glover skated the length of the ice and fought with Everett goaltender Austin Lotz, earning an instigator, fighting major and a game misconduct. He might also face a suspension.
"It was frustrating," Seattle coach Steve Konowalchuk said. "We want guys to stand up for each other, but we do need to show more caution there. I thought they should have had the original penalty for a hit from behind."
The game ended with several fights and penalties, so many it took more than 30 minutes to unravel the mayhem and send the official scoresheet into the league office.
Everett now is 30-39-2-4 with 54 points, one point behind Seattle (23-36-7-2) with both teams having three games left in the regular season. Prince George has 50 points, but five games remaining.
"I thought both teams were playing a fairly safe game and they ended up getting that late bounce," Konowalchuk said.
Two short-handed goals made it 1-1 after the first period. Luke Lockhart gave Seattle the lead with his sixth short-handed goal, and 23rd overall before Everett tied it on a short-handed goal by Reid Petryk.
Connor Honey gave Seattle the lead back at 1:13 of the second period, before Everett pulled even on a score by Tyler Sandhu to make it 2-2 heading into the third period.
Everett took its first lead on a power-play goal by Tyler Sandhu after Glover's penalty. Seattle tied it eight seconds later on a goal by Shea Theodore.