The first half of the WHL season comes to an end this weekend. Everett has two games remaining, a home-and-home set with Portland. Friday’s game is in Portland at the Rose Garden, with the rematch Sunday in Everett.
Everett will still be without center Kohl Bauml for these two games. Bauml, who underwent a scan on his injured shoulder earlier this week, was on the ice during practice today, wearing a no-contact jersey. Bauml won’t play this weekend and will spend the Christmas break recovering. There’s no specific timetable on when Bauml will return.
Also out is rookie winger Dawson Leedahl. Leedahl suffered a knee injury during Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout victory at Tri-City in an accidental collision with teammate Ryan Harrison. The extent of the injury is not yet known. He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI, and this possibly threatens his status with Team West for the U-17 World Hockey Challenge.
With Bauml, Leedahl and defensemen Ryan Murray (shoulder) and Mirco Mueller (World Juniors) unavailable, Landon Oslanski continues to practice as a defenseman and Micheal Zipp skated in practice today as a forward.
Portland is also short for these two games. Canada announced its roster for World Juniors today and two Winterhawks made the cut, so the Tips won’t be facing winger Ty Rattie or defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon (Wotherspoon, incidentally, probably inherits the shut-down role that opened up because of Murray’s injury). Also gone for World Juniors are winger Oliver Bjorkstrand (Denmark) and defenseman Layne Viveiros (Austria). Defenseman Derrick Pouliot was cut by Canada, so he should be back. Defenseman Seth Jones will probably play Friday, but will miss Sunday’s game to join up with the U.S. team.
Everett has a long break this year, with 11 full days off before resuming play on Dec. 28 at Seattle. The Tips will have at least 13 victories at the break this season. Last season Everett had just six.