EVERETT — These may be the new-look Portland Winter Hawks, but it was an old-looking result when they faced the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday night.
Despite facing a rejuvenated Portland team, Everett continued its mastery over the Winter Hawks, running away in a 7-1 victory at Comcast Arena.
Playing at home for the first time in 18 days, Everett had seven different players find the net as the Tips (12-8-3-0) won their 11th straight game against Portland. The last time Everett lost to the Winter Hawks was on Oct. 5 2007, a 3-0 defeat at Comcast Arena.
And the Tips, who won their third straight, were happy they could keep their momentum going following a successful six-game swing through the WHL’s East Division.
“It was a long time gone, so it was good to give our fans something to cheer about,” said Everett’s Shane Harper, who led the barrage with a goal and two assists.
“(Portland) is a very solid team and capable of beating anybody on any given night,” added Harper, noting the Winter Hawks are no longer a team anyone can afford to look past. “We knew we had to come out as hard as we could.”
Drew McDermott scored his first WHL goal. Chris de la Lande, Tyler Maxwell, Kyle Beach, Markus McCrea and Jordan Mistelbacher also scored for the Tips, and Kellan Tochkin pulled the strings with three assists. It was the second time this season Everett’s had seven different goal scorers.
Sixteen-year-old Kent Simpson, making his third straight start in goal, stopped 31 shots to earn the win.
Luke Walker scored the lone goal for Portland (7-17-0-0), which was drained from playing its fifth game in six nights. Starting goaltender Kurtis Mucha stopped 19 of 24 shots before being replaced by Keith Hamilton, who saves 13 of 15.
“I can’t emphasize enough that they just played five in six,” Everett coach John Becanic said. “That’s a tough grind.
“We’re capitalizing,” added Becanic, whose team was a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play. “That isn’t any more chances than we’ve had in the past, we just happened to bury them tonight.”
A brief skirmish broke out after the final horn sounded Portland’s Tayler Jordan broke his stick while crosschecking Beach and Taylor Ellington retaliated for Everett. Both Jordan and Ellington were assessed major penalties and game misconducts, putting their status for Friday’s rematch in doubt.
Portland, mired at the bottom of the WHL standings for more than two years, has been a different team since undergoing an ownership change in late October when former NHL assistant Mike Johnston took the reins as head coach. The Winter Hawks were invigorated, winning five of their first nine games under Johnston, including road victories against U.S. Division frontrunners Spokane and Tri-City.
But the Winter Hawks still haven’t figured out how to deal with the Tips. Since the beginning of the 2006-07 season Everett is 19-3 against Portland, outscoring the Winter Hawks 96-39. Worn out from their busy schedule, the Winter Hawks couldn’t reverse that trend Wednesday.
“We’ve played five in six and I thought that was our worst game,” Johnston said. “The other games we played very well. Our team’s still growing, there’s going to be growing pains along the way, and I thought tonight we showed signs that when we aren’t fresh we make a lot of mental mistakes. And they just outworked us, you give them a lot of credit for how they played and how they worked.”
Everett needed just 5 minutes, 37 seconds to get on the board, de la Lande poking home on the power play after Beach drove the net, and it was off to the races from there. Maxwell and McDermott also scored first-period goals, both on plays initialized by Tochkin, then Harper and Beach scored on the power play in the second to chase Mucha.
Walker ended Simpson’s shutout bid 43 seconds into the third period, but McCrea and Mistelbacher scored later in the period to extend Everett’s lead.
Slap shots: Everett played without key checking forward Jesse Burt. Burt suffered a leg injury blocking a shot last Friday at Swift Current. He joined defenseman Shayne Brown (hip flexor) on the sidelines. … Portland’s lineup featured former Silvertip center Jonathan Milhouse. Milhouse, who appeared in 34 games for the Tips during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, was recruited from the British Columbia Hockey League’s Victoria Grizzlies last week.
Silvertips 7, Winter Hawks 1
@5. NHL box :First Period—1, Everett, de la Lande 2 (Harper, Beach), 5:37 (pp). 2, Everett, Maxwell 8 (Ellington, Tochkin), 12:52. 3, Everett, McDermott 1 (Tochkin), 17:23. Penalties—Ross, Portland (hooking), 4:23; Ehrhardt, Portland (holding), 8:43; Beach, Everett (diving), 8:43.
Second Period—4, Everett, Harper 8 (de la Lande, Alexander), 11:37 (pp). 5, Everett, Beach 7 (Harper, Bartek), 13:58 (pp). Penalties—Tochkin, Everett (holding), 2:31; Bartek, Everett (tripping), 7:27; Boychuk, Portland (high sticking), 10:04; Morrow, Portland (tripping), 12:51; Ellington, Everett (roughing), 14:12.
Third Period—6, Portland, Walker 7 (Ehrhardt, Valchar), 0:43. 7, Everett, McCrea 2 (Tochkin, Van de Velde), 7:42. 8, Everett, Mistelbacher 2 (Froese, Potuer), 16:08. Penalties—Boychuk, Portland (fighting), 11:39; Ellington, Everett (fighting), 11:39; Maxwell, Everett (interference), 12:56; Sohor, Everett (elbowing), 17:18; Jordan, Portland (major-cross checking-game misconduct), 20:00; Ehrhardt, Portland (game misconduct), 20:00; Ellington, Everett (major-cross checking-game misconduct), 20:00.
Shots on goal—Portland 8-10-14—32. Everett 13-13-13—39. Power-play opportunities—Portland 0 of 5. Everett 3 of 3.
Goalies—Portland, Mucha 5-12-0-0 (24 shots, 19 saves), Hamilton (15 shots, 13 saves). Everett, Simpson 7-3-1-0 (32 shots, 31 saves).
Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog: http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog