In honor of the first ever playoff series between Everett and Seattle beginning tonight, here’s the closest thing to a playoff game the teams have ever contested. Indeed, this was the equivalent of a Game 7.
Everett’s final game of the 2011-12 season was on March 17 at ShoWare Center, and everything was on the line. The Tips and T-birds entered the night tied for the eighth-and-final playoff berth in the Western Conference, and that night’s game was essentially do-or-die, with the winner going to the playoffs and the loser going home.
The game couldn’t have been more thrilling. Four times Seattle took the lead, and all four times Everett answered to tie it. Then with less than five minutes remaining a fortunate bounce presented Cody Fowlie with an open net, giving the Tips their first lead of the game. A late empty netter made it a 6-4 final scoreline, with Everett scoring the game’s final three goals to keep its streak of making the playoffs in every season of franchise history alive.
The Tips didn’t actually clinch a playoff berth that night. Seattle had one game remaining the following day in Portland. But the T-birds needed to win that game to force a one-game playoff for the last playoff berth, and the Winterhawks made sure there was little drama, winning the game 8-2.
So Everett received the playoff berth. But Seattle received a consolation prize. The T-birds ended up winning the bantam draft lottery, giving them the first-overall pick and the chance to select phenom Mathew Barzal, who will be on the ice tonight.
Anyway, enough of past history. It’s time to make new history.