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WHL US DIVISION – Everett Silvertips Notebook: Down but not out: Everett loses lead in the US Division.

Despite earning three out of six points, Everett has fallen behind Seattle.

Brandon Ralph laying a hit
Brandon Ralph laying a hit
Ben Nelms/Getty Images

With nine games remaining and a one-point lead for the US Division, every point will matter down the stretch for Everett. The Silvertips would battle three division opponents in four days beginning on Friday March 4th against Seattle. Everett would return to action the following night against Tri-City than wrap up their home stand on Tuesday March 8th against Portland.

Loss to Seattle 2-1 in OT

In the previous matchup against Seattle, the Silvertips were shutout 2-0. Heading into the matchup Seattle was one the hottest teams, winning nine out their last ten games.

Seattle would strike first with a goal from Ryan Gropp at 8:34. Gropp received a pass down by the left post and buried the puck to give Seattle a 1-0 lead. Minutes later Everett would come close to finding an equalizer but Brian King's shot would ring off the post. After one period Everett would trail 1-0. Seattle would lead in shots 10-7 during the 1st period.

Everett would receive multiple chances on the man advantage during the 2nd period including a five-on-three power play for a 1:35 when Mathew Barzal was called for a trip at 9:58 and Jared Hauf for a check to the head at 10:37. Despite many scoring chances created by Everett, they were unable to get the game tying goal. Everett would heavily outshoot Seattle 17-6 during the 2nd period.

Time was winding down and Everett was staring at another shutout at the hands of Landon Bow when Dewar provided late-game heroics with a goal to even the game at 17:15. Dewar would put away a rebound from a Cole MacDonald shot by the blue line. Neither team would find the go-ahead goal for remainder of the 3rd period with Everett holding a slight shot advantage 11-9.

This would be the second time during the season series with the Thunderbirds that a game was heading into OT. Seattle won the previous OT matchup on January 9th, 2016 with a goal from Barzal. Everett would create many chances during the OT period and despite outshooting Seattle 6-2 would be unable to get one past Bow.

The game would now be decided by a shootout. During the 5th round Remi Laurencelle made a great deke but Bow recovered and made a save with his stick. Nolan Volcan would beat Hart with a hard wrist shot by the right circle and end it in the 7th round.

Carter Hart stopped 26-of-27 shots in the loss while stopping 6-of-7 during the shootout.

Loss to Tri-City 5-3

Everett has struggled against the Americans all season and their woes would continue in this game. Rasmussen would help Tri-City get an early lead with a goal at 5:35 during the 1st. Not long after at 6:58, Jordan Topping would beat Carter Hart with a shot from the right circle. After one period Everett would continue to trail 2-0 despite heavily outshooting Tri-City 17-8.

Early in the 2nd period Vladislav Lukin would be called for roughing and Everett take advantage on the power play. Matt Fonteyne would beat Nicholas Sanders with a wrister down by the right circle for a power play goal at 2:37. Everett would receive another power play opportunity at 9:19 when Nolan Yaremko was called for boarding. Dario Winkler would put away a rebound for a power play goal and help Everett even the game at 10:54. Exactly one minute later Everett would get the go-ahead goal when Fonteyne roofed a backhander over Sanders' shoulder. At 14:10 former Silvertip Sandhu would toe drag past Everett defenders and score on a backhander to even the game at three. Tri-City would retake the lead at 15:21 with a goal from Morgan Geekie. After a wild 2nd period Everett would trail 4-3 despite holding a slight 11-9 shot advantage.

With under two minutes remaining Hart would be pulled for an extra attacker and Sandhu would score an empty netter at 19:14 giving Tri-City the 5-3 victory.

Carter Hart stopped 20-of-25 shots in the loss.

Defeated Portland 3-2

Captain Dawson Leedahl would make his return tonight after a lengthy time off recovering from broken hand he suffered on February 6 against Seattle. Everett would jump to an early lead at 2:20 in the first period when Yan Khomenko sent a wrister near the point that would sneak past Adin Hill's glove. At 11:38 Patrick Bajkov would add to Everett's lead beating Hill with a shot from the slot. Everett would remain on top 2-0 after the 1st period and would lead 9-7 in shots.

At 4:34 Noah Juulsen would skate into the Portland zone and send a cross-ice feed to Carson Stadnyk who buried a one-timer giving Everett a three-goal lead. After two periods the Silvertips would remain on top 3-0 also continuing to outshoot Portland 11-7.

Midway through the 3rd period, Everett was cruising until Juulsen received two minutes for a cross check at 8:29. Silvertip killer Rihards Bukarts would beat Hart glove side for a power play goal at 9:49. Portland would be back on the power play at 13:12 when Cole MacDonald was called for a hook. Alex Schoenborn would tack on a power play goal at 13:58 to cut the Silvertips lead to one. Portland would pull Hill for an extra attacker with less than two minutes remaining but Everett would hold and win 3-2. Portland would lead in shots 11-5 during the final period.

Carter Hart stopped 23-of-25 shots to pick up his 35th win of the season.

Everett will face Seattle in their barn for the last time Friday March 11th. Seattle currently holds a two point lead in the US Division. With six games remaining in the regular season the race for the US Division banner could come down to the final game.

Everett's remaining schedule:

Date      Opponent            Season Record          Goals Forced        Goals Allowed

3-11        At Seattle                     6-1-1-1                         24                              14

3-12       At Tri-City                     3-4                                16                              17

3-13      At Portland                     4-5                                20                              25

3-16        Spokane                       7-2                               33                              22

3-18         Victoria                        0-2                                 4                                9

3-18       At Victoria                      0-2                                 4                                9

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Former Silvertips Defensemen Ryan Murray and Radko Gudas were selected to participate in the 2016 Hockey World Cup.

Murray, in his third season for Columbus, was selected to be on Team North America. This season for the Blue Jackets, Murray has tallied 4 goals and 17 assists for 21 points in 67 games.

Gudas, in his first season with Philadelphia, was selected to be on Team Czech Republic. This season for the Flyers, Gudas has tallied 2 goals and 8 assists for 10 points in 59 games.