The Silvertips find themselves in the challenging position of trailing Seattle 3-0 in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series. That means Everett must win four straight to advance to the second round.
It’s a gargantuan task. Just twice in WHL history has a team ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series. In 1996 Spokane overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat Portland, and last year Kelowna overturned a 3-0 deficit against Seattle. Both came in the first round, and the fact that the T-birds were victims of that just a year ago gives a little extra hope to the Tips.
However, this is a drastically different circumstance than those two previous comebacks. In both those previous series there was a huge gap between the teams during the regular season. In 1996 Spokane finished 41 points ahead of Portland in the standings, while last year Kelowna finished 50 points ahead of Seattle. In both cases, the team that fell behind had proven over time to be far better than its opponent.
In contrast, this season Everett and Seattle finished with the exact same number of points and split the season series 5-5. So if the Tips are going to come back in this series, they have their work cut out for them as it will require something pretty much unprecedented in league history.
Seattle will be playing Friday’s Game 4 at Comcast Arena without winger Jaimen Yakubowski. Yakubowski was suspended one game by the league for his checking-from-behind double-minor penalty during Wednesday’s Game 3.
Everett also appears like it will be down a player because of that hit, too. Tips defenseman Noah Juulsen was knocked out of Wednesday’s game because of the hit and he did not practice today, making it extremely unlikely that he’ll play in Game 4.
Finally, the Tips are taking the opportunity of Game 4 to do their part for the victims of the Oso mudslide. The team will be taking donations for United Way of Snohomish County’s Disaster Recovery Relief Fund for Mudslide Relief.