Yes, Sunday night's game was a preseason game. And yes, Portland played without all its top players. But at least for one brief moment the Tips enjoyed being on the other end of the equation.
This time it was Everett that dominated the puck as the Tips defeated the Winterhawks 6-4 to conclude the Holiday Inn Preseason Classic at Comcast Arena.
"It felt good to have it the other way around for once," said overage center Joshua Winquist, who scored a hat trick. "It is just the preseason, but it's a good win. I thought we outplayed them the entire game and it was a good 60 minutes from us. We have to build off this and keep going."
In recent years, if a team put 50 shots on the scoreboard in a game between Everett and Portland, it was a certainty it was on the Winterhawks side of the ledger. That included twice during last season's playoffs, when Portland knocked out Everett in the first round in six games.
But Everett reversed those numbers Sunday, controlling the puck and outshooting Portland 53-23. The only thing that kept Portland in the game was proficiency on special teams. The Winterhawks converted two of their three power plays and also scored short-handed. So while Everett won the even-strength battle 5-1, it was still a one-goal game in the final minute.
Portland played the game without arguably its top eight players, including last season's co-scoring champions Brendan Leipsic and Nicolas Petan, so Sunday's result requires a grain of salt. But it was still an encouraging sign for an Everett team that finished a perfect 3-0 in its preseason tournament.
"It's really hard to know what the preseason means," Everett coach Kevin Constantine said. "Teams don't play the rosters that they'll eventually play, and certainly Portland had some very good hockey players not in their lineup. So you try to not think too much at this point, knowing everything will change in the next month.
"But the thing is, if you like to compete you have to go out and compete all the time," Constantine continued. "From that standpoint it was good that we kept working. We could have said, 'Well, it's our third game in three nights and the game doesn't count.' But I don't think our guys approached it like that. I think they approached it as trying to do things the way we want to do things. That's the part that I liked, that they just wanted to go compete."
Patrick Bajkov, Waltteri Hopponen and Logan Aasman also scored for Everett, which twice dug out from two-goal deficits. Aasman's goal on the power play early in the third period snapped a 4-4 tie and stood up as the game winner. Austin Lotz finished with 19 saves in goal for the Tips.
Chase De Leo, the only player among Portland's top 11 scorers last season who dressed Sunday, had a goal and two assists to lead the Winterhawks (2-1). Keoni Texeira, Layne Viveiros and Adam Rossignol scored the other goals for Portland, while Jarrod Schamerhorn made 47 saves in net.
After a wild seven-goal second period left the score tied 4-4, the Tips took their first lead of the game 3 minutes, 51 seconds into the third. The Tips, who had nine power plays to Portland's three, created all kinds of chances with the advantage earlier in the game, but the only thing that came from it was De Leo's short-hander midway through the second. But Everett finally got it right on its seventh attempt as Aasman got a tip on Cole MacDonald's shot from the point to make it 5-4.
It remained 5-4 until the end, when Winquist put the puck into an empty net with 23.4 seconds remaining to complete his hat trick. It was Winquist's second career preseason three-goal game, the other coming two years ago against Seattle.
"I guess preseason is my specialty," quipped Winquist, who led the Tips in scoring last season. "But the boys worked hard and gave me great opportunities to score. Manny (Hayer) gave me two clear-cut breakaways just by working hard, and I put it in the net."
Winquist got both of Everett's comebacks started in the second period. The Tips were down 2-0 early in the period when he cleaned up after Hayer was taken out on the rush. Then after Portland went ahead 4-2, he was the beneficiary after Hayer intercepted a Portland outlet pass. Hopponen then tied it at 4-4 with 57 seconds remaining in the second, beating Schamerhorn with a shot on a two-on-one.
Former Silvertip Trent Lofthouse scored twice, including the third-period game winner as the Victoria Royals beat the Tri-City Americans 3-2 in the day's first game. Matthew Campese added a goal and an assist for the Royals (1-1-0-1). Brian Williams scored both goals for Tri-City (0-3). ... Connor Honey had two goals and an assist as Seattle held off Spokane 6-4 in the day's second game. Seattle (3-0) had led 5-2 in the third period before the Chiefs (0-2-0-1) pulled within one to turn it into a nail-biter, courtesy of goals from Markson Bechtold and Tyson Predinchuk.
Silvertips 6, Winterhawks 4
Portland 1 3 0 -- 4
Everett 0 4 2 -- 6
First Period--1, Portland, Texeira 1 (De Leo, Schoenborn), 8:31. Penalties--Schoenborn, Portland (interference), 2:05; Iverson, Portland (goaltender interference), 9:46; Aasman, Everett (checking from behind), 12:20; Texeira, Portland (high sticking), 20:00.
Second Period--2, Portland, Viveiros 1 (Price), 5:26 (pp). 3, Everett, Winquist 1 (Hayer, MacDonald), 5:57. 4, Everett, Bajkov 1 (Winquist, Juulsen), 8:12. 5, Portland, Rossignol 2 (Hanson, De Leo), 10:24 (pp). 6, Portland, De Leo 2 (Rossignol, Viveiros), 11:51 (sh). 7, Everett, Winquist 2 (Hayer), 17:41. 8, Everett, Hopponen 1 (Bauml), 19:03. Penalties--Winquist, Everett (slashing), 4:08; Alldridge, Portland (fighting-game misconduct), 7:32; Leedahl, Everett (fighting-game misconduct), 7:32; Pufahl, Everett (charging), 9:17; Turgeon, Portland (roughing), 10:47; Nikolishin, Everett (holding), 12:18; Schoenborn, Portland (roughing), 18:08; Hayer, Everett (roughing), 18:08; MacPherson, Portland (tripping), 19:48.
Third Period--9, Everett, Aasman 1 (MacDonald, Nikolishin), 3:51 (pp). 10, Everett, Winquist 3 (Hopponen), 19:36 (en). Penalties--MacPherson, Portland (high sticking), 2:15; McKenzier, Portland (checking from behind-checking from behind), 4:50.
Shots on goal--Portland 4-12-7--23. Everett 17-15-21--53. Power-play opportunities--Portland 2 of 3. Everett 1 of 9.
Goalies--Portland, Schamerhorn 0-1-0-0 (52 shots, 47 saves). Everett, Lotz 2-0-0-0 (23 shots, 19 saves).
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