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Staff report: Silvertips roll to 6-2 Sunday win at Portland to tighten U.S. Division race

The Portland Winterhawks' once comfortable lead atop the Western Hockey League's U.S. Division is down to three points after the Everett Silvertips came to Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday and won 6-2.

Everett improved to 40-12-3-1 (84 points). Portland is 40–10-3-4 (87 points) after its second loss in regulation loss in as many days. The Silvertips have one game in hand, which they will play on Wednesday at last-place Tri-City.

It was the largest margin of defeat this season for the Winterhawks. It was the second regulation loss at home for Portland this season and ended a string of 22 games earning at least a point.

This is only the third time this season that the Winterhawks have lost consecutive games in regulation and the first since early November.

Everett has won six in a row and 11 of 12 to close the gap on Portland.

The Silvertips dominated special teams. The league's top power play scored on its first three chances and finished 3 for 5, and the Tips scored a shorthanded goal from Ethan Regnier midway through the second period to put the visitors up 4-0.

Kishaun Gervais and Johnny Ludvig scored third-period goals for Portland, denying Everett goalie Dustin Wolfe his 10th shutout of the season. Wolfe finished with 35 saves and picked up his 30th win to match Portland's Joel Hofer for the league lead.

Hofer stopped 27 of 33 Everett shots.

Gervais scored his seventh goal of the season 5:34 into the third period to pull Portland within three. He converted a nice pass from Tyson Kozak on a two-on-one rush.

The Hawks had several scoring chances on the following shift and carried some momentum until Everett's Brendan lee converted on. a two-on-one after a Portland turnover to make it 5-1 at 9:18 of the third.

Kasper Puutio converted Everett's third power-play goal at 11:28 of the third to make it 6-1.

Everett scored three first-period goals, the first coming 25 seconds in as Gage Goncalves scored his 30th goal of the season, redirecting a point shot by Jake Christiansen.

Cole Fonstad and Bryce Kindopp scored power-play goals midway through the first period to make it 3-0.

Ludvig scored a late power-play goal for Portland. It was the team captain's 17th goal of the season.

The Winterhawks play three road games next weekend, visiting Tri-City on Friday, Seattle on Saturday and Everett on Sunday.

After next weekend, Portland will play five of its last eight regular-season games at home, including a March 14 visit from Everett.

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