So here’s the deal. Everett needs to play its absolute best game to have any kind of chance against Portland. An average game won’t get it done. A bad game? Well, then you get something like this. And this was a bad, bad game for the Tips.
Everett did pretty much everything poorly tonight. The Tips made bad decisions, had bad defensive coverage — Portland players were left free to roam the offensive zone all night long — and goaltender Austin Lotz wasn’t able to bail them out tonight. The Tips didn’t handle the situation gracefully, either, as they lost their heads in the third period — you know it’s bad when Kohl Bauml loses his composure. A line brawl nearly broke out after the final horn, with Everett’s Ayrton Nikkel completely flipping out. With the amount of jawing and stick work done by both sides in the third, it’s actually a little surprising there wasn’t more rough stuff.
Everett’s season is now on the brink. Portland leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 and can send the Tips home for the summer in Saturday’s Game 5. If Everett doesn’t get its act together, the offseason begins tomorrow.
Portland led 1-0 midway through the first period, and Everett was about to get a power play. But when the whistle blew, Everett’s Stathis Soumelidis took his man hard into the boards, and in the ensuing scrum he started swinging at Taylor Peters. Instead of Everett getting a power play, Portland ended up with the advantage. Mirco Mueller took a slashing penalty shortly after, giving Portland a five-on-three, and the Winterhawks scored on both ends to send themselves on their way.
First star: Ty Rattie, Portland. Three goals and two assists, a dominating performance.
Second star: Brendan Leipsic, Portland. Two goals and three assists, was Rattie’s partner in crime.
Third star: Tyler Wotherspoon, Portland. Two goals and two assists, the stay-at-home d-man showed he has a little offense to his game, too.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Joshua Winquist, Everett. Two goals, but you know why he really deserves this? Somehow he ended up a plus-1 in this game (and one of his goals was a power-play goal). That’s really amazing. Winquist has scored in all four games in the series.
Portland 11, Everett 4
Game 1: Everett 4, Portland 3
Game 2: Portland 4, Everett 1
Game 3: Portland 7, Everett 3
Game 4: Portland 11, Everett 4 (Portland leads series 3-1)
Game 5: Everett at Portland, Saturday, 7 p.m.
Game 6 (if necessary): Portland at Everett, Monday, 7:05 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): Everett at Portland, Wednesday, 7 p.m.