(Everett, WA) On Saturday, the top two teams in the U.S. Division faced-off for the ninth time this season. The Everett Silvertips (38-13-1-1) scored four goals in the second period and one in the third to defeat the Portland Winterhawks (33-16-3-2) by a score of 5-0.
Defenseman Jake Christiansen scored three goals for Everett, and also became the first defenseman in Silvertips history to record a hat trick.
The Silvertips power play has been effective as-of-late, and continued their success again on Saturday. Everett scored three goals on the power play, two by Christiansen.
In the second period, Portland committed a tripping penalty sending the top Everett unit onto the ice. Zack Andrusiak sent a pass to Christiansen who in turn fired a wrist shot which beat Winterhawks goalie Joel Hofer up high.
A key turning point in the game came when Wyatte Wylie sent a puck over the glass giving Portland an opportunity to tie the game on the power play.
Instead, the Silvertips scored a shorthanded goal via Bryce Kindopps’ fifth man-short goal of the year.
Fairbrother put a shot towards Hofer, and the puck redirected off Kindopp for his 30th goal of the season. Portland then trailed by two.
The second period went from bad to worse for the Winterhawks. Portland’s fifth penalty, and fourth resulting in a power play, came as a result of interfering with Connor Dewar on a zone entry.
Everett once again made Portland pay on the power play.
Former Swift Current Bronco, Max Patterson, found the back of the net for his 13th goal of the 2018-2019 season.
With less than 40 seconds to play in the middle period Andrusiak started another scoring play getting the puck to Kindopp. The 19-year-old forward used his vision to find Christiansen who made no mistake with his shot placement. The Silvertips advantage now read 4-0.
In the second period the Silvertips outshot the Winterhawks 16-5, but also dominated puck possession.
Portland’s best chance came on a shorthanded breakaway by Joachim Blichfeld, but Dustin Wolf answered the call.
Only one puck got behind the 17-year-old NHL draft eligible goalie, but went to review. The play was easily ruled as no goal as Seth Jarvis’ stick was too high.
The WInterhawks were one of three WHL teams yet to be shutout this season, and made one final push on the power play in the third period. However, Wolf made three saves in a row in a scramble in front to preserve his shutout.
For Wolf, Saturday marked the sixth time he blanked an opponent in 2018-2019. Against Portland, Wolf stopped all 29 shots sent his direction.
Jake Christiansen, the Vancouver, BC native, completed his hat trick in the third period on the power play.
Once again, the play was started by Zack Andrusiak who now has 12 goals and 5 assists in eight games against Portland. The secondary assist was the overager’s third assist of the evening.
The 7,117 fans in attendance were treated to quite a show by Wolf and Christiansen.
On a night where special teams played a key role, the Silvertips won that battle as well. Their power play went three-for-eight while their penalty kill was a perfect five-for-five.
The win not only restored the Silvertips lead in the division back to seven points. The victory also officially clinched Everett’s spot in the playoffs.
Everett is off now until Wednesday when they host the Red Deer Rebels for the teams’ only match up of the year.
For Portland, they make the trip south to complete their three-in-three against the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Tigers are also completing a three-in-three after losing in overtime on Saturday against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
– The Winterhawks dressed 11 forwards and seven defenseman on Saturday. However, they played the majority of the game with the traditional six as Brendan De Jong left the game in the first period and did not return.
– De Jong is still being evaluated with a lower-body injury where more information will be known in the near future.
– Portland played their 20th game this season without Cody Glass. Their captain is currently out day-to-day with a lower body injury. The game against Everett marked the seventh game he missed as a result. Glass is back practicing with the team, but has not completed a full practice yet.