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Silvertips swept out of playoffs by Portland

Everett’s season comes to an end with a 5-0 loss in Game 4; big changes are ahead in the offseason.

EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips saw their season come to an end Friday night when they lost 5-0 to the Portland Winterhawks in Game 4 of their second-round WHL playoff series at Angel of the Winds Arena.

Portland, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, received second-period goals from James Stefan, Tyson Jugnath and Ryder Thompson to snap a scoreless tie en route to sweeping third-seeded Everett in the best-of-seven series. The Winterhawks, who advanced to face top-seeded Prince George in the conference championship series, outscored the Tips 23-6 in the four games of the series.

Everett played the series without two of its top forwards, Austin Roest and Teague Patton, because of injury, while a third top forward, Jesse Heslop, missed the series’ final three games. Defenseman Parker Berge led Everett in scoring in the series with three points (one goal, two assists), while Beau Courtney (two goals) was the only member of the Tips who found the net more than once.

“In this series I thought our guys competed hard,” Everett coach Dennis Williams said following Game 4. “Take away the score, what you have to ask out of them is, ‘What effort did they bring?’ I was real proud of that. They’re a good hockey team, Portland. The main thing for me was making sure we played the game right, played the game hard. We emptied the tank and the guys in the room have nothing to hang their heads about, I thought they battled right to the end.”

Friday’s loss represented Williams’ final game as Everett’s head coach and general manager. Just before the playoffs began Williams, who’s been the Tips’ coach since 2017 and general manager since 2021, was hired as the new head coach at Bowling Green State University, where he played collegiately.

“It’s obviously an emotional time,” Williams said. “I’ve been here seven years and it’s been an unbelievable seven years. I got to coach so many great young men, got to coach beside unbelievable coaches, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity here. It’s been home for us for seven years, and I know that moving forward they’re in a good spot and they’ll do everything to put the right pieces in place and continue to keep Everett at the top of the league. I look forward to following their great success not only over the next year bur for many years.”

Game 4 was also the last game for Everett’s overagers — Patton, Berge and goaltender Tyler Palmer — and likely the last game for 19-year-old co-captains Roest and Ben Hemmerling, who have signed NHL contracts and therefore are probably ticketed to play professionally in the minors next season.

With the season over, Everett’s focus shifts to the WHL prospects draft. The Tips hold the first-overall pick in the draft, which takes place May 9, meaning Everett has the opportunity to select prized prospect Landon DuPont. DuPont, a defenseman from Calgary, Alberta, was just the second player in WHL history to be granted exceptional status, meaning he’s eligible to play full-time in the league next season as a 15-year-old.

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