I'm not sure the Tips are going to get a much better chance to knock off the Winterhawks then they had tonight. Portland was short-handed, Everett played a good all-around game, and the Tips had chances at the end to tie it. But Everett has had no luck against the Winterhawks this season, and that continued tonight as the Tips fell to 0-5 against Portland.
Everett outshot Portland 32-31, and there were stretches, particularly during the second period, where the Tips controlled play, with the line of Reid Petryk, Landon Oslanski and Ryan Harrison leading the way. This game was essentially a coin flip, and the coin just happened to land on Portland's side.
The victory was Portland's fifth straight, and the Winterhawks have won 24 of 26, so clearly Portland is on a roll. Very impressive to see the Winterhawks continuing to win despite several of their top players being unavailable because of World Juniors.
As for Everett, the Tips go into the Christmas break at 13-22-0-2 and tied with Prince George for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Cougars have three games in hand, so once again Everett finds itself in a race to make the playoffs. Everett is off until Dec. 28, when the Tips resume the season at Seattle.
Until then, I hope everyone has a happy holiday!
Everett trailed 2-1 late in the first period, but the Tips received a golden opportunity when Portland's Brendan Leipsic was given a major penalty and game misconduct for charging after he bowled over Tips goalie Austin Lotz. However, the Winterhawks produced an inspired penalty kill, and the Tips weren't able to generate a single scoring chance during the five minutes.
First star: Nicolas Petan, Portland. One goal, very shifty.
Second star: Harrison. One goal, had a chance at the death to tie it.
Third star: Mac Carruth, Portland. 30 saves, including a couple big-time stops.
The Herald's honorable mention, Everett edition: Petryk. One assist, was a man possessed through the first two periods.
The Herald's honorable mention, Portland edition: Taylor Leier. No points, but a relentless penalty killer, and while his block on Harrison at the final horn may have been painful, it may also have saved the game.
Portland 3, Everett 2
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