EVERETT — The Portland Winterhawks’ reign of terror in the Western Hockey League is over.
The Everett Silvertips upended the Winterhawks, 4-3, on Friday night at Angel of the Winds Arena, snapping Portland’s 21-game point streak and handing the Winterhawks their first regulation loss since Nov. 30.
“We’ve been thinking about this game for along time here,” said Silvertips captain Bryce Kindopp, who potted two goals to lead Everett. “It was like a playoff game pretty much for us. We’re really happy we got the win.”
The win trimmed the Winterhawks’ lead in the U.S. Division standings to seven points. Everett, which is 1-2-1 against Portland this season, faces the Winterhawks four more times in the regular season.
Up by a goal in the third period, Kindopp added a much-needed insurance goal for the Silvertips by charging his way to the crease and beating Portland goaltender Joel Hofer for his second goal of the game.
Portland made Everett pay after Hunter Campbell took an ill-timed tripping penalty at 15:15 and Johnny Ludvig scored a power-play goal 13 seconds later to cut the lead to 4-3.
But Everett stood its ground and goaltender Dustin Wolf, who finished with 32 saves, made a number of key stops in the waning moments to allow the Tips to hang on.
A controversial goal 22 seconds into the third period provided Everett its first lead of the game, as Jackson Berezowski appeared to tip in a shot from Wyatte Wylie past Hofer. The goal was reviewed on the ice to see if Berezowski’s stick was above the crossbar, but the goal stood.
“I thought it was a horrible call on the goal. It was definitely a high stick. I watched it three times,” Portland head coach Mike Johnston said. “That was the turning point in the game, and it shouldn’t be that the officials play the turning point in the game. I thought it was a hard-fought game, real close game. I thought our second period was great and we should have come up with maybe a little bit more than we did in the second period. They got a lot of momentum off that goal in the third and we were just back on our heels.”
After a scoreless first period, the floodgates opened up for both teams in the second.
Jonas Brondberg potted the first goal of the game with a snipe from the right circle at 1:59 in the second. The goal occurred only a second after an Everett penalty expired.
Portland added to its lead on the penalty kill after Jake Gricius poked away the puck at his own blueline and finished a breakaway chance past Wolf for his 17th goal of the year.
But the Silvertips responded quickly, as Kindopp buried the feed from Cole Fonstad to cut the lead in half at 7:39.
Everett’s fourth line joined the party and potted the equalizer, as Jalen Price fed Brendan Lee from below the goal line and Lee clapped a shot over Hofer’s right shoulder for his fifth goal of the year.
When @brendannleee scores, it's a vibe 😎
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) February 1, 2020
Hofer stopped 19 of 23 shots for the Winterhawks.
Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter, @JoshHortonEDH