The Tips slayed the dragon. Wednesday night’s 4-2 victory at Spokane exorcized all kinds of demons as Everett ended its four years of Spokane Arena misery, terminating an 18-game road losing streak against the Spokane Chiefs.
But while the victory ended the curse, more importantly it made the final weekend of the season a whole lot more interesting.
Had Everett lost Wednesday, the Tips would have found themselves five points behind both Seattle and Spokane, meaning Everett would need a miracle to finish anywhere other than sixth — the home-and-home set with Victoria on Friday and Saturday would have been interesting only because it would have previewed the first-round playoff series. But now the Tips still have a chance at finishing anywhere from fourth to sixth.
Here’s how things stand heading into the weekend:
4. Seattle, 86 points, three games remaining
5. Spokane, 84 points, two games remaining
6. Everett, 83 points, three games remaining
Seattle plays a home-and-home with Portland, then finishes the season at Tri-City. Spokane has a home-and-home against Tri-City. Everett has the two games against Victoria, then heads to Portland on Sunday.
Everett’s weekend appears to be the most difficult, with three games against teams that have already surpassed the 100-point mark, as well as a ferry ride complicating things. The other complicating factor is that all of the three teams’ opponents are already locked into their playoff seeds, meaning it’s unknown how full a lineup those teams will dress from night to night. Everett also has a lot of points from overtime losses, meaning the Tips will lose the tiebreaker (total wins) to either Seattle or Spokane.
So it’s still very much an uphill battle for Everett to pull itself out of sixth. But the Tips have won seven in a row. And if nothing else, it makes the final weekend all the more intriguing.