Injury-riddled Silvertips take on Thunderbirds

EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips’ losing streak may be over, but the Tips aren’t out of the woods just yet.

Everett remains in danger of being unable to field a full lineup because of injuries when the Tips travel to Kent today to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Everett ended a lot of futility when they beat the Spokane Chiefs 5-4 in overtime Saturday at Comcast Arena. Not only did it end the Tips’ six-game losing streak, it also was Everett’s first victory over Spokane in seven attempts this season. What made the result all the more improbable is that the Tips prevailed despite missing six players because of injury, forcing the team to play two skaters short.

It doesn’t look like those injuries will abate by tonight. Forwards Manraj Hayer (lower body), Jujhar Khaira (upper body), Zane Jones (upper body), Logan Aasman (finger) and Tyler Sandhu (upper body) all sat out Saturday, and none of those five practiced Monday, making it unlikely that any will return for tonight’s game. Not only is that a long list, it includes what would theoretically be four of the team’s top-six forwards.

Defenseman Ben Betker, who was unable to play Saturday after returning from a lower-body injury for Friday’s 2-1 home loss to Seattle, did participate in practice Monday. Therefore, he may return for tonight’s game.

Everett is trying to remain relevant in the U.S. Division race. The Tips are nine points behind second-place Seattle and seven behind third-place Spokane with 19 games remaining in the regular season.

Hart signed?

Everett prospect goaltender Carter Hart appears to have signed a WHL education contract with the Tips. The 15-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alberta, who was the team’s eighth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft, tweeted Sunday: “Blessed to have signed with @WHLsilvertips Thank you to everyone who has helped me reach this milestone.” However, the team did not confirm Hart’s signing.

Hart is currently playing for the Sherwood Park NIC Squires of Alberta Midget Minor Hockey League, which is a 15-year-old league. He is 12-3-3 with a league-leading 1.86 goals against average and .938 save percentage.

Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.

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