Winterhawks finally beat Silvertips
The Portland Winterhawks scored the final five goals of the game Friday in an emotional 5-2 win over the Everett Silvertips in a Western Hockey League game at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The win ends a stretch of nine consecutive Everett wins against Portland dating to a 3-2 overtime win for Portland on Dec. 13, 2019. It came in the last of six meetings with Everett in this abbreviated season and prevented the Silvertips from celebrating the U.S. Division title on the Winterhawks' home ice.
Everett is still firmly entrenched atop the division at 14-4-0-0 (28 points). Second-place Portland is 9-6-3-0 (21 points).
Simon Knak scored two goals, including the tying goal in the third period. Mason Mannek scored the go-ahead goal, Kade Nolan scored a 200-foot empty-net goal after Tyson Kozak won a defensive-zone faceoff and Kozak added another late goal, allowing Portland to cruise to the finish line.
Everett led 2-0 after the first period, but Portland dominated the shot counter 30-8 the rest of the way and finally found a way to defeat the WHL's best goalie in Dustin Wolf.
Knak's first goal of the game came midway through the second period on a shot from behind the left-wing goal line that found its way off of Wolf and into the net. Jack O'Brien, in his first game since rejoining Portland from the USHL, won a faceoff and got the assist.
It wasn't until late in the third that Knak tied it by deflecting a point shot from Jonas Brondberg past Wolf for Knak's team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Mannek, playing in his final career game against Everett along with defenseman Nick Cicek, put Portland in front less than two minutes later with his eighth goal of the season. Mannek's shot from the top of the right circle beat a screened Wolfe with 4:56 left in the game.
Having lost a series of close games late to the Silvertips this season, the final five minutes were tense until Kozak won a defensive zone faceoff and Nolan collected it and flung the puck 200 feet into the empty net with 1:38 on the clock.
Kozak iced the win 30 seconds later.
Portland finished with a 39-20 advantage in shots on goal. Dante Giannuzzi made 18 saves in his first win opposite Wolf.
Portland was scoreless on four power plays. Everett was 1 for 2 with the man advantage.
Winterhawks Associate Coach Kyle Gustafson picked up his second career WHL win as the coach of record. Portland VP/GM/coach Mike Johnston is on a scouting trip in Texas
Friday's game was the first of three in three days for the Winterhawks, who play host to Tri-City at 5 p.m. Saturday then visit Seattle at 5 p.m. Sunday, a game that can be seen on KRCW.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.