SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. -- Cody Eakin capped his first WHL playoff hat trick with an empty-net insurance marker as the Swift Current Broncos downed the Medicine Hat Tigers 5-3 on Friday night to take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference quarter-final series.
The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Bretton Cameron and Tyler Ennis in the opening five minutes and 20 seconds before Eakin scored twice in under four minutes to tie it up. Dillon Wagner put Swift Current up for good at 6:14 of the third period after the teams traded goals in the second.
Eakin, who was held pointless through the first four games of the series, recorded two hat tricks and scored 24 goals during his sophomore season, more than double his rookie campaign total.
Joel Rogers added a goal and an assist for the Broncos, who have a chance to finish off the Tigers in Medicine Hat, Alta., on Sunday.
Sean Ringrose scored the other goal for the Tigers.
Ennis, who has scored in all five games this series, leads the WHL with eight post-season goals.
Broncos goaltender Travis Yonkman stopped 34 shots, while Ryan Holfeld allowed four goals on 45 shots in net for Medicine Hat.
In Everett, 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 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.