Bullet points tonight:
– Everett still had offensive issues tonight, but it wasn’t as big an issue as it was the first two games this weekend. The Tips outshot Portland 34-22 and had good scoring chances to take the lead late in the second period when it was tied 2-2. So at least Everett, while not being dynamic offensively, was at least creating some things.
– The power play was the difference in this one. Everett’s power play wasn’t as catastrophically bad as it was the first two games of the weekend, but 0-for-6 ain’t gonna cut it. The Tips finished 1-for-23 with the advantage in the tournament. Meanwhile, Portland showed Everett how it’s done, scoring what amounted to three power-play goals on its six chances.
– I think one could ask oneself whether Zane Jones helped or hurt his chances of earning one of Everett’s three overager spots this season. Jones was very noticeable all night, throwing several big hits and being dangerous offensively. But he also took four penalties, including three in the third period, two of which led to Portland goals that snapped a 2-2 tie. However, on balance I’d have to say he left a positive impression, particularly with his physical play.
– Everett winger Dawson Leedahl was given a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct for a bad hit in the second period. He faces a suspension for that and will almost certainly miss at least one game next weekend in Kennewick.
– Oliver Bjorkstrand was absolutely electric for the Winterhawks. It’s not like we didn’t already know he was good, but he was playing at a level that just wasn’t fair, setting up Portland’s first two goals with amazing plays, then scoring the third-period goal that snapped the 2-2 tie. Don’t get me wrong, I like Everett’s Mirco Mueller as a player. But if Mueller ends up in the NHL at 19 and Bjorkstrand ends up back in the WHL, something is wrong in this world.
– For whatever reason, the off-ice officials decided to forgo awarding second assists tonight. Every goal but one was given just one assist, but pretty much every goal deserved more. I can say with some certainty that Everett’s Ivan Nikolishin, who seemed to me to be one of the victims of the oversight, will be letting Tips broadcaster/media relations director Travis Huntington know he needs to correct the official stats.