Everett never trails in 4-2 win at Memorial Coliseum
Everett Silvertips 4, PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS 2
Tuesday night, Memorial Coliseum, 4,012 announced attendance (sellout)
The Winterhawks continued to miss the five players who are away for world junior events, especially when it comes to scoring goals against good Western Hockey League competition. And the suspension of forward Brendan Leipsic for a recent hit made it an unlucky six against a solid Everett team.
Portland fell behind 2-0 and never could catch up.
WHAT IT MEANS
Portland fell to 1-2 in its last three games, and trails Everett 2-1 in their season series.
The Hawks' lead over the second-place Silvertips in the WHL U.S. Division got trimmed to two points going into the holiday break.
Chase De Leo's goal from the right faceoff circle puled Portland to within 2-1 in the second period, and Paul Bittner's goal in the third period sliced the Winterhawks' deficit to 3-2.
Everett scored into an empty net for the two-goal margin.
Kelowna won 7-1 at Saskatchewan on Tuesday and leads the WHL with 58 points, eight ahead of Portland in three fewer games.
Portland goes into the break with two of the league's top four scorers. Spokane's Mitch Holmberg (37 goals-37 assists-74 points) is No. 1, followed by the Hawks' Nicolas Petan (20-46-66), Everett's Joshua Winquist (26-33-59) and Portland's Oliver Bjorkstrand (25-31-56).
Petan and Bjorkstrand are away with Canada and Denmark, respectively, for world junior hockey duties.
Portland killed all six of its penalties and was 1 of 3 on the power play.
The Hawks had 39 minutes in penalties.
WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE
Kelowna 28-3-0-2 (58) (B.C. Division leader)
Portland 23-8-2-2 (50) (U.S. Division leader)
Everett 22-9-4-0 (48)
Victoria 23-13-0-2 (48)
Seattle 21-10-1-3 (46)
Spokane 21-12-0-2 (44)
Vancouver 17-13-5-2 (41)
Tri-City 17-16-1-2 (37)
Prince George 14-18-2-3 (33)
Kamloops 9-23-2-2 (22)
The Winterhawks are off until a Dec. 27 game at Tri-City (KPAM 860 AM).