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WHL US DIVISION – Everett Silvertips Notebook: Despite lack of offense, Everett still remains atop the division

The Silvertips have only registered five goals in their last five games but still lead Seattle by five points in the US Division.

Everett began their weekend of three games in three days against US Division rivals with a matchup in Kennewick on Friday January 29. They would return home to welcome Seattle on Saturday and Spokane on Sunday. With a five point lead in the division, Everett was hoping to build a bigger lead on the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Carter Hart got the start for Team Orr at the BMO CHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver Thursday night. Hart played a little over 31 minutes while stopping 15/16 shots. Team Orr would beat Team Cherry 3-2.

Loss to Tri-City 2-1

Mario Petit was slated to start in net to spell Carter Hart, who participated in the CHL Top Prospects Game the previous night and had a tough matchup against Seattle the following night. However, Petit would be a late scratch due to illness and Hart was put into the starting lineup.

The Americans would strike first when Jordan Topping went five-hole, sneaking one past Hart at 10:43. Despite heavily outshooting the Americans 12-6, Everett trailed 1-0 after one period.

Parker Wootherspoon would help Tri-City increase their lead to two goals at 14:40 in the second. Wootherspoon's inital shot hit the post but he was able to bury his own rebound. Everett would cut into the Americans lead with a goal fromPatrick Bajkov at 17:11. Bajkov skated in the Tri-City zone and fired a wrister from the left circle that beat Evan Sarthou. Everett would remain trailing by one goal after two periods. The Silvertips again outshot Tri-City 12-7.

With less than two minutes remaining in the game, Coach Constantine pulled Hart for an extra attacker. Everett was unable to score an equalizer. The Silvertips outshot Tri-City 6-4 in the final period. Carter Hart stopped 15/17 shots in the loss.

Defeated Seattle 2-1

Despite their loss to Tri-City, Everett would still lead the US Division by five points because of Seattle losing to Spokane the same night. Everett would need a strong game from Carter Hart with Mario Petit being scratched for the second consecutive night due to illness.

The Silvertips would open the scoring early during the first period with a goal from Brandon Ralph. Ralph would receive a pass in the slot and send a shot beating Landon Bow glove side to give Everett a 1-0 lead at 2:50. Everett would have to kill a penalty at 13:19 when Brycen Martin was called for boarding. The Silvertips were less than 20 seconds away from killing the penalty before Ryan Gropp sent a shot from the slot that would get past Hart. After one period that game was even at one with Everett being outshot 7-12.

The game would remain tied after two periods despite many chances by both teams. Seattle would again outshoot Everett 12-10 during the second period.

At 10:13 in the third period Remi Laurencelle was called for a checking from behind penalty which would be a five minute major as well led to a game misconduct. Laurencelle would also get in a scuffle with Mathew Barzal and both were given two minutes for roughing. This would be crucial for Everett with Seattle's top playmaker in the box during a five minute power play. This was gut-check time for Everett. The Silvertips were able to keep play going and not allow a stoppage with about a minute left on Seattle's man advantage. They were able to keep Barzal in the box for almost the entirety of the power play. Everett would manage to kill off the remaining time with Barzal on the ice. At 18:10 Everett would get the game winning goal from Graham Millar. Millar would backhand a rebound from a Noah Juulsen shot to give Everett the lead. The Thunderbirds would pull Bow with over a minute left but Everett was able to hang on for the 2-1 victory. Everett was outshot once again 6-11 in the final period. Carter Hart stopped 34/35 shots to pick up his 28th win of the season.

Loss to Spokane 4-1

Carter Hart once again would get the nod in net and would play his fourth game in four days. Fatigue would seem to play a huge factor in this game for Everett.

Spokane would jump to a 1-0 lead at 7:16 when Dominic Zwerger scored on a wrap-around. Devon Skoleski would be called for a hook at 13:29 and the Chiefs would capitalize on the man advantage. Hudson Elynuik would receive a pass in front of the net and bury the puck giving Spokane the 2-0 lead. Despite outshooting Spokane 8-6 during the first period, Everett would trail 2-0.

At 15:47 in the second period Zwerger would get his second of the night beating Hart with a shot by the left circle.Carson Stadnyk would be given two minutes for goaltender interference at 18:38. The Chiefs would continue to lead 3-0 after two periods while outshooting Everett 10-9.

Spokane started the third period on a power play due to Stadnyk's penalty. Everett was close to killing the penalty but Zwerger would get his third of the night at 28 seconds into the third. Dawson Leedahl would score down by the left post at 11:43, breaking Lasse Petersen's shutout.  Unfortunately for Everett they would not find the back of the net again and lose 4-1. Everett would outshoot Spokane 11-6 during the final period. Carter Hart stopped 18/22 in the loss.

Seattle would beat Kelowna the same day pulling back within five points for the division lead. Everett will have a Wednesday night home matchup with Portland on February 3. They will have another home game Friday night against Kamloops and finish the weekend in Seattle on Saturday.

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Everett has signed prospect forward Brett Kemp to a WHL Standard Player Agreement. Kemp was selected in the second round (4first overall) by Everett in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft and was the Silvertips first selection because of not having a first rounder due to acquiring Nikita Scherbak for the 2014-15 season. Kemp has registered 18 goals and 23 assists for 41 points in 36 games for the Yorkton Maulers this season.