EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips find their 2022 WHL season on the brink, and Jackson Berezowski won’t be coming to the rescue.
Everett is one loss away from seeing its season end prematurely, and now the Tips know they’ll be without Berezowski for however long their playoff journey continues as the team announced Sunday that Berezowski underwent season-ending surgery.
In a statement released by the team, Everett coach Dennis Williams said: “Prior to the WHL Playoffs, Jackson Berezowski suffered a season-ending upper-body injury in Portland. Jackson has successfully undergone surgery, and we fully expect a healthy recovery to have him back leading our team next season. Jackson is an instrumental player on the ice and a true leader off it. His well-being and health is our number one priority.”
Berezowski had not played for Everett this postseason. Williams said previously the team was taking it game-by-game with Berezowski’s availability.
Everett entered the postseason as the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed and was a big favorite over the eighth-seeded Vancouver Giants in the first round. However, the Tips find themselves down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, with a must-win Game 6 taking place Monday night in Langley, B.C.
Berezowski’s absence has been a critical blow for Everett. The winger in his 19-year-old season led the team in goals during the regular season with 46 — one short of the franchise single-season record set by Joshua Winquist in 2013-14 — and finished second in scoring with 79 points. He also serves as a key penalty killer and shares captain duties with defenseman Ronan Seeley. For his efforts, he was named the team’s co-Most Valuable Player with defenseman Olen Zellweger.
The Tips now know they have to win two straight without Berezowski if they want to avoid the biggest playoff upset in WHL history. Everett finished 47 points ahead of Vancouver in the standings. The largest gap by an upset winner is 37 points, when the seventh-seeded Prince George Cougars topped the top-seeded Tips in six games in the second-round of the 2007 postseason.