The Tips carved their niche in franchise history tonight, winning a thriller for their 13th consecutive victory. The streak matches the 13-game win streak of the 54-win 2006-07 team.
For two periods Everett played like a team hungry for history, controlling play and outshooting Portland 31-14. However, the Winterhawks twice scored quickly following Everett goals during the second period, and the Tips took a slender 3-2 lead into the third. Portland turned the nob to 11 in the third, tying it early in the period and grabbing initiative. But Portland’s Brad Ross took a high-sticking penalty to give the Tips an opening, and during the power play Zack Dailey tipped Radko Gudas’ shot past goaltender Mac Carruth for what proved to be the game winner. Kent Simpson was strong in net for the Tips during the final 10 minutes as Everett withstood Portland’s push.
It was yet another one-goal victory during the streak. Nine of Everett’s 13 wins have come by a single goal. Win tomorrow night at home against Kamloops as the Tips make the record their own, match Kootenay’s mark for the longest winning streak in the league this season, and finish with a perfect January.
Big crowd, exciting end-to-end action, and a victory to match a franchise record. I’m not sure this night could have gone any better for the Tips from a marketing standpoint.
Ross’ penalty was a killer for the Winterhawks. It blunted Portland’s momentum and gave the Tips the chance to reclaim the lead, which they did.
HIT OF THE DAY
Portland defenseman Luca Sbisa was on the receiving end of several good hits tonight in his Winterhawks debut, but he also delivered the biggest hit when, early in the second period, he leveled and unaware Radko Gudas shortly after Gudas left the penalty box.
First star: Dailey. Two goals and an assist, including the game winner.
Second star: Shane Harper, Everett. A goal and an assist, he’s got goals in five straight.
Third star: Ty Rattie, Portland. Two goals, with a nice finish on the second one.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Chris Francis, Portland. One goal and was flying around the ice in the third period.
Special fourth-line acknowledgment: Markus McCrea, Everett. In his limited time he had one nice backcheck to break up one scoring chance, then a big shot block to stop another.