Everett's season came to an end in underwhelming fashion tonight. The Tips broke down completely at the start of the second period, with mistakes handing Portland three goals in the first five minutes and giving the Winterhawks a 5-1 lead. After that we were treated to a 35-minute exhibition of pond hockey.
What can you say? Portland is a far better team than Everett, and the Winterhawks were well worth their sweep of the first-round playoff series. Portland is a legitimate contender for the league title.
Nevertheless, the Tips went out meekly. Everett at least put up a fight in Wednesday's 5-4 loss in Game 3. That same fight wasn't there tonight.
Now a word on attendance. The Tips drew 2,420 to tonight's game. That's after having 2,331 at Wednesday's game. The two-game total of 4,751 is roughly 1,000 fewer than what Everett averages for one regular season game. Yes, attendance always drops in the first round of the playoffs, and yes these were mid-week games. But this was far more drop off than we've seen in the past. Not a great endorsement of what was a frustrating season for Everett.
I don't know what happened during the first intermission, but the Tips were not ready at the start of the second. A bad turnover by Rasmus Rissanen behind the Everett net led to a Portland goal just 45 seconds in. A misjudged pinch by defenseman Nick Walters led to a two-on-one goal at 4:10. And goaltender Luke Siemens got beat clean on a speculative wrister from the point at 4:39. Game over.
HIT OF THE DAY
Early in the first period Portland's Riley Boychuk hit Walters so hard into the boards that it caused a glass panel to pop out of its frame and into the stands.
First star: Sven Bartschi, Portland. A goal and two assists, he must love playing in Everett.
Second star: Craig Cunningham, Portland. One goal and one assist, how often does a team have the reigning conference MVP on its second line?
Third star: Manraj Hayer, Everett. One goal, full credit to the rookie line of Hayer, Jari Erricson and Tyler Giebel for being the Tips' lone bright spot.
The Herald's honorable mention: Ty Rattie, Portland. Two assists, he probably deserved the other star as the line of Bartschi, Cunningham and Rattie was easily the best thing going in this game.
Portland 6, Everett 2
Game 1: Portland 4, Everett 0
Game 2: Portland 7, Everett 2
Game 3: Portland 5, Everett 4
Game 4: Portland 6, Everett 2 (Portland win series 4-0)
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