The 23-year-old had led after the first run of the women's individual slalom by 0.55 seconds from Russia's Aleksandra Frantceva but a fantastic second run from the home favourite denied Etherington and Powell as the Russian took victory by 0.65. The other British pairing, Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans - who won Britain's first gold in the super-G on Monday - crashed out.
Etherington's latest success adds to the previous silver medal she won on the opening day of the Games in the downhill and the bronze medal from the super-G discipline, behind Gallagher and Evans.
Etherington was dismayed to miss out on gold initially - she burst into tears straight after her race - but admits that the consistency of her performances bodes well for their remaining two events. "We were close on the times and we fought all the way," she said. "We put down a good run. If you look back, Frantceva beat us by three seconds on that hill the day before and we were close on the time. I knew I could ski well and I was really excited [which] usually means I have a good performance."
She should add to Britain's medal haul tomorrow since she and Powell need only complete the super-G course to be on the super-combined podium. The pair are second after the slalom, just more than three seconds behind Frantceva. USA's Danelle Umstead is the only other competitor remaining, so Etherington will get a medal if she gets over the finish line.
Britain's wheelchair curlers, however, suffered a setback in their quest for a play-off spot as they were humbled 11-2 by the host nation. Aileen Neilson's rink were 6-2 behind at the seventh end and a 5 from the Russians forced their opponents to concede the last. With two defeats from seven ties so far, the British rink may require wins in both of their final round-robin games, against USA and China today, to progress.