DUBNetwork Game of the Night: Everett Silvertips (39-12-3-1) @ Portland Winterhawks (40-9-3-4) 5:00 PM
The two teams vying for the US Divison title go head-to-head for the sixth time this season. They will meet another two times before the season ends as they head down the stretch towards the playoffs.
Portland is coming off a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Thunderbirds last night. Everett defeated the Vancouver Giants 2-1. Both teams are playing their third game in as many days.
With the win last night, Everett has a five-game win streak, closing the gap between themselves and Portland to five points. The Silvertips have a game in hand.
Seth Jarvis has led the offensive charge for the Winterhawks this season. He is on an eight-game point streak with 10 goals and 11 assists in that span. Jarvis has now moved into second in WHL scoring this season with 36 goals and 49 assists. Reece Newkirk is no slouch either; he’s 13th in scoring with 29 goals and 36 assists.
Everett has some offensive weaponry as well. Cole Fonstad is 12th in scoring with 13 goals and 53 assists. The 53 assists are good for second in the entire league. Putting the puck in the net for Everett is Bryce Kindopp, who has 34 goals and 29 assists.
Both teams have elite defensemen that are able to put numbers on the board. Portland’s Johnny Ludvig is second overall in scoring among defensemen with 16 goals and 41 assists. The Silvertips counter with Wyatte Wylie, who is third in WHL scoring among defensemen with 13 goals and 40 assists. Everett’s one-two punch is among the best in the league, as Jake Christiansen has been lighting it up with 17 goals and 24 assists in just 30 games.
When it comes to goalies, it is a real toss-up as well. Both teams have fantastic number one netminders and both are assuredly going to start tonight. Everett has the best goalie in the league when it comes to goals-against average and save percentage. Dustin Wolf has a 1.84 GAA and a .938 save%. He is 29-9-2-0 this season between the pipes for the Silvertips. Not to be outdone, the Winterhawks counter with the first 30-game winning goaltender in Joel Hofer. His record is 30-6-3-2 this season and he has a 2.37 GAA and .919 save%.
Both teams are among the best the WHL has to offer on special teams as well. Portland kills 85.4% of its penalties, while Everett is successful 80.5% of the time. The power play is where they both really excel. Everett is number one, scoring on 27.9% of its chances with the man-advantage; Portland is third at 24.4%.
In other WHL action (all times local):
Brandon Wheat Kings (31-21-3-2) @ Regina Pats (19-31-4-2) 4:00 PM
With a win this afternoon, the Wheat Kings can clinch at least a tiebreaker game with the Red Deer Rebels. The Pats have very little hope of making the playoffs this season as they can only max out at 68 points and both Saskatoon and Brandon are ahead of them in the standings. Brandon is 3-1-0-0 against Regina this season. Regina is winless in its last four games. Brandon lost 2-1 to the division-leading Prince Albert Raiders last night.
Prince George Cougars (16-31-3-4) @ Seattle Thunderbirds (23-28-3-3) 5:05 PM
Prince George has lost five straight. This evening’s game will go a long way in determining if the team can catch Seattle in the final weeks of the season. Currently 13 points back with 14 games remaining, the Cougars have three games in hand over Seattle. Prince George leads the season series 2-1-0-0 to Seattle’s 1-1-0-1.