PORTLAND, OR – The Portland Winterhawks won the special teams battle and scored five of the game’s last six goals to defeat the Everett Silvertips 7-3 Friday night at Memorial Coliseum. With all five of their visits to Portland now in the books, the Silvertips will still face the Winterhawks three more times at Comcast Arena this year.
Josh Birkholz, Ryan Murray and Reid Petryk scored Everett’s three goals in the game, while Josh Caron picked up his first two Silvertips points with a pair of assists. The ‘Tips led in the early going and outshot the Winterhawks 32-31 on the night, but finished 0 for 7 on the powerplay while giving up three powerplay goals on three chances to Portland’s league-leading powerplay.
The ‘Tips struck first in a high-scoring first period as Josh Birkholz picked up a rebound in the high slot and whipped it low to Mac Carruth’s blocker side to put Everett in the early lead. Portland answered just over one minute later as the puck bounced perfectly to create a breakaway for Brendan Leipsic, who tied the game at one. Leipsic netted another breakway goal midway through the period to put the Winterhawks ahead 2-1, but Everett countered off the rush only 1:17 later when Ryan Murray stuffed Cody Fowlie’s centering pass through Carruth’s five-hole to even things at two.
The ‘Hawks found themselves in the lead before the period was out however, thanks to Troy Rutkowski’s tap-in of a cross-ice feed from Ty Rattie with 2:40 remaining. Portland quickly added to that lead when the second period began with a goal from Oliver Gabriel to make it 4-2 just 19 seconds in. The lead became 5-2 thanks to Cam Reid’s powerplay goal midway through the second stanza, and the Silvertips faced a three-goal deficit going into the third.
The Silvertips cut into the deficit with a goal at 17 seconds of the third period that was credited after video review determined Reid Petryk’s wraparound try did indeed enter the net to make it 5-3. An opportunity to further close the gap emerged with a four-minute powerplay following a high-sticking double-minor to Portland’s Joseph Morrow, but the ‘Tips were not able to capitalize on the ensuing powerplay. Petryk appeared to score again shortly after the man-advantage ended before his goal was waved off due to goaltender interference. Derrick Pouliot and Oliver Gabriel then added powerplay goals later in the third to put the game out of reach in a 7-3 ‘Hawks decision.
Austin Lotz (2-7-0-2) made 24 saves in the loss as he faced Portland for the first time this season. Mac Carruth (31-14-1-0) made 29 saves to get his league-leading 31st win of the year.
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The Silvertips will now continue their road swing with an important two-game series at Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday before a home-and-home set with Vancouver finds them returning to Comcast Arena to face the Giants on Saturday, February 11.
Silvertips group tickets and flex ticket packages can be purchased in person at the team office inside at Comcast Arena or by phone at 425-252-5100. Single game tickets are on sale by phone (866-332-8499), online (www.comcastarenaeverett.com) or at the Comcast Arena box office.