The Everett Silvertips saw their point streak come to an end Sunday in a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Spokane Chiefs.
Everett had won four straight and had points in 11 consecutive games. It was team’s first regulation loss since a 3-0 showing at Portland on Jan. 31.
GAMER=> The #Silvertips fell 5-2 to the (still) red-hot #Chiefs at home Sunday. Everett finishes the season series 6-3-1 while Spokane finishes 4-5-1. Road teams claimed the final four victories in the series. Read on: https://t.co/vcoXgqZr2w
— Jesse Geleynse (@JesseGeleynse) February 26, 2018
I wouldn’t read too much into the defeat. Spokane is also a red-hot team no doubt bent on avenging Tuesday’s 4-1 Everett win at Spokane Arena. The Chiefs are a very dangerous team that could very well go on a long playoff run if they continue this pace. The Chiefs are 14-2-2 since a 5-2 home loss to the Tips back on Jan. 13. Spokane’s only two losses in its last dozen games were to Everett.
The Tips continue to lead both the U.S. Division (nine points) over Portland and the conference (five points) over Kelowna. But the Winterhawks have three games in hand while Kelowna has two. Friday’s home game against Kelowna will go a long way toward determining if Everett will hold on to the top spot in the conference.
With all the parity in the Western Conference there are few gimmes on the schedule and the Tips have none remaining. The points differential between first-place Everett and eighth-place Seattle is 22, but the Thunderbirds have three games in hand and have given Everett fits all season. Speaking of which, longtime WHL scribe and blogger Gregg Drinnan weighed in on the Tips-T-Birds rivalry. In case you’ve forgotten Seattle coach Matt O’Dette has had harsh words for the officials each of the past two weekends.
So, this is based on feeling…but to me, it feels like the Seattle Thunderbirds/Everett Silvertips rivalry has finally surpassed that of Seattle vs Portland Winterhawks.
— TOm Helm (@RealmofHelm) February 25, 2018
The teams square off twice more before the end of the season and could very well see each other in the playoffs. Everett is 4-2-2 while Seattle is 4-3-1 in the eight head-to-head matchups.
Everett is now 37-9-1-3 since Dustin Wolf debuted at Kamloops on Oct. 27. Carter Hart’s numbers since returning from mono are 25-3-1-3 with a .954 save percentage and a 1.42 GAA. Overall Hart is 26-4-1-3 with a .951 save percentage and a 1.53 GAA.
The Tips are off today and Tuesday before they reconvene Wednesday in anticipation of their final three-in-three of the season.
In other news:
– It looks like the CHL may lift its ban on European goaltenders. The CHL has banned European goalies from the import draft since 2014 in hopes of developing its own, homegrown netminders.
– Former Silvertips forward Nikita Scherbak has been recalled by the Montreal Canadiens:
The Canadiens have recalled forward Nikita Scherbak from the AHL's Laval Rocket.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 26, 2018
He joins defenseman Noah Juulsen who made his NHL debut last week.
For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.