Here’s the box score from this morning’s exhibition game in Kennewick, when Everett beat Portland 8-2. It’s the second time in six days the the Tips topped the Winterhawks, and Everett improved to 4-0 in the preseason.
1) It’s just preseason.
2) Portland has nine of its top players away at NHL rookie training camps.
3) I was not at this game, so I have no idea what it really looked like out there. The shots were just 36-33 in favor of Everett, unlike the 53-23 advantage in Sunday’s 6-4 victory at Comcast Arena.
But that said, two impressive victories against the defending league champions and Western Conference favorites has to be a confidence boost for the Tips, who were on the other side of that type of score on many an occasion against Portland the past three seasons.
The Tips spread the scoring around, as seven different players found the net and 12 different players notched points. All eight of Everett’s goals were at even strength as there were just three penalties the entire game. Joshua Winquist continued his impressive preseason with two goals and an assist, while Brayden Low, Manraj Hayer and Ivan Nikolishin each had a goal and two assists. Sixteen-year-old defenseman Noah Juulsen won the plus/minus sweepstakes with a plus-5. Waltteri Hopponen added a goal and an assist as Everett’s Euro situation continues to intrigue.
Everett’s back in action again tomorrow morning against Kootenay.
Elsewhere, Everett No. 1 defenseman Mirco Mueller was injured during the San Jose Sharks’ game against the Vancouver Canucks at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton. Mueller apparently was hurt when he was cross checked by Hunter Shinkaruk. No word on the nature or severity of the injury, but this is obviously something worthy of concern for the Tips.