It was flashback night at Comcast Arena, as this one looked a lot like the Everett-Portland games of the previous three seasons. The Tips have been a lot more competitive with the Winterhawks this season, but this was like watching a game between the teams during the previous three campaigns, when Portland went 26-4 against Everett and routinely dominated play.
Everett was no match for Portland today. The Winterhawks were at their speedy and skillful best, while the Tips were a shell of themselves. Everett has a hard enough time handling Portland at full strength, it becomes a near impossible task when the Tips are down six regulars, including two overagers. Then when you heap on that the Tips were finishing off an absolutely brutal four-in-five, and the the Winterhawks had Saturday off, you get what we had tonight.
The Tips thus earned just one point from this brutal week, which included visits to league-leading Kelowna, defending league-champion Portland and high-flying Seattle prior to today’s game.
Everett heads back to Portland on Wednesday, and it sounds like it’s possible none of the injured Tips will have recovered in time for that game. I’m not sure whether affiliated players Carter Cochrane or Jordan Wharrie, who helped fill in at various points this weekend, will be available, either. So another rough one could be in store.
This game never really turned. It was tied 1-1 going into the second, but Portland dominated the first period and it seemed just a matter of time before the dam broke. The Winterhawks then proceeded to score three times in the first 12 minutes of the second period to make the scoreline more representative.
First star: Oliver Bjorkstrand, Portland. Three goals and one assist, he was Everett’s main tormentor.
Second star: Derrick Pouliot, Portland. One assist, he’s known for providing offense from the blue line, but he stood up rushing Everett forwards today.
Third star: Taylor Leier, Portland. Two assists, was Bjorkstrand’s main sidekick.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Brendan Leipsic, Portland. One goal, slippery as ever and as unpopular as ever.