It’s been more than four calendar years since Everett won a game at Spokane Arena. The last win came on Feb. 24, 2010. Since then the Tips have dropped 18 straight to the Chiefs on the road.
If Everett wants to move past Spokane into fifth place in the Western Conference and potentially set up the first ever playoff series between Everett and Seattle, these are the forces The Tips must overcome Wednesday when the they travel to face the Chiefs.
The losing streak dates back to the last game of the 2009-10 season, when Everett needed just a single point against a nothing-to-play-for Chiefs team to claim the Western Conference’s top seed to the playoffs. Instead the Tips fell 3-2, were forced to settle for the third seed, and were upset by Kelowna in the first round. It’s been nothing but Ls in Spokane since.
Given the playoff implications, Wednesday seems as poetic a time as ever for the Tips to finally end their Spokane Arena curse. Spokane has a one-point advantage over Everett with both teams having four games remaining. The Chiefs get things started when they travel to Kent to take on Seattle tonight. Spokane is 0-7 against Seattle this season, with most of those games being one-sided. Should the Chiefs lose to Seattle again, and should the Tips prevail Wednesday, Everett would have a one-point lead on Spokane with a game in hand.
But even if that perfect scenario plays out for Everett over the next 36 hours, it doesn’t assure the Tips anything. Everett’s final weekend is brutal, with a ferry-riding home-and-home with Victoria followed by a game at Portland — Those are two teams that have combined to lose just five games over the past two months. Meanwhile, Spokane ends the season with a home-and-home against Tri-City, a team the Chiefs will be favored to beat. One also has to wonder whether Seattle, which has dropped three straight games to Everett, may have a subconscious desire to assist the Chiefs in holding onto fifth (yes, the T-birds have dominated the Chiefs and would prefer to play Spokane in the first round, but Seattle is just four points ahead of the Chiefs and has to worry about maintaining home-ice advantage).
However, all the speculation is likely moot if Everett can’t win Wednesday in Spokane. If the Tips are to have any chance of moving past the Chiefs, I can’t imagine it happening without bringing the curse to an end.