Howse the hero as Bruins clip Tips

Ryan Howse scored his league-leading 10th goal of the season 1:22 into overtime as the Chilliwack Bruins downed the Everett Silvertips in Everett Wednesday night.

Bruins goaltender Lucas Gore helped the cause, stopping 42 of 45 shots. The Bruins snapped a two-game losing skid and moved a game above .500 at 4-3-0-0.

Chilliwack head coach Marc Habscheid shuffled the deck heading into this one, trying to tap into some secondary scoring.

The first line of Roman Horak between Ryan Howse and Robin Soudek remained intact.

But 16-year-old Brandon Magee was elevated to second line duty alongside Kevin Sundher and Dylen McKinlay, while Jamie Crooks was bumped down to the third line, playing with Chris Collins and Mike Forsyth.

For the seventh time in seven games this season, the Bruins struck first. With Everett’s Josh Birkholz banished to the sin bin for boarding, Chilliwacks lethally efficient power play went to work. Jesse Pauls took a pass from point partner Brandon Manning and cut to the middle, putting a backhander on net. Soudek collected the rebound and beat Tips netminder Kent Simpson, scoring his second of the season to send the Bruins to the break with a 1-0 lead.

Shots on goal in period one favoured Chilliwack 12-10.

Everett came out buzzing, and tied the score 6:26 into the middle frame. Cody Fowlie picked up his first Western Hockey League tally in garbage-goal fashion, crashing the crease to poke a loose puck past Bruins netminder Lucas Gore. Parker Stanfield got an assist, his fifth point in six games since being acquired from the Prince George Cougars.

The Bruins re-took the lead five minutes later on a goal by Mike Forsyth. Years from now, Forsyth will say his first WHL tally was a thing of beauty, perhaps a breakaway deke or a one timer from the slot. In reality, the 18-year-old nabbed the rebound from a Jamie Crooks shot and chipped it up and over Simpson sand-wedge style.

Goals don’t have to be pretty to count, and Forsyth’s marker put Chilliwack up 2-1.

Everett held an impressive 19-4 edge in second period shots on goal, but faced a deficit heading to the third.

Just three minutes and 34 seconds into the final frame, Detroit Red Wings prospect Landon Ferraro flew down the right wing, snapping an NHL-calibre shot past Gore, picking the top corner to even the score. But Manning restored Chilliwack’s lead seven minutes later, scoring on a brilliant solo effort. The big blueliner took a feed from McKinlay and bulled to the net, going to the backhand for his third of the season.

Time kept ticking and it looked like the Bruins might escape with a regulation time win.

It was left to ex-Lethbridge Hurricane Brennan Yadlowski to salvage a point for Everett. With two minutes and 57 seconds left on the clock, Chilliwack had all sorts of trouble getting the puck out of their zone. Yadlowski held the point and fired a shot that beat Gore low stick-side. His second of the season sent the game to overtime tied at 3-3.

Shots on goal through 60 minutes were 45-25, favouring the Silvertips.

The Bruins started the extra session shorthanded thanks to a weak tripping call on Kevin Sundher. But Chilliwack’s penalty killing was outstanding, snuffing out the threat without breaking a sweat. Seconds after he stepped out of the box, Sundher led a three-on-two rush and set up Ryan Howse for the game winner. Sundher’s assist was his first point of the season (in four games), while Howse extended his points streak to seven games, with at least one goal or assist in every game this season.

The Bruins are back in action Friday night at 7:30 p.m., hosting the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Centre.