Portland Winterhawks Fizzle Against Silvertips, Then Light The Lamp This Weekend

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Wednesday just does not seem to work out for the Portland Winterhawks, as they received another loss is in the books, this time against the Everett Silvertips. The first goal was actually Portland as Cross Hanas notched his third of the year from Clay Hanus as Portland ended the period with a lead. The wheels seemed to fall off in the second with two goals by Everett (47 seconds apart) as they took the lead. Everett expanded the lead early in the third period and capped it off with an empty-net goal near the end of the frame to take a commanding 4-1 win over the Hawks; Everett outshout Portland 41 to 38 and both teams were blanked on the seven combined poweplays.

Saturday, in the confines of home, Portland faced off against the Spokane Chiefs. The Chiefs have climbed the ladder to sit very close to Portland and came close to knocking off Everett on the previous evening. Power plays were not a major factor as each team hit the scoresheet once on two powerplays each, but the Hawks were ready for the challenge. It was Teddy Bear Toss night, as a sellout crowd witness the fastest Teddy Bear scored by the Hawks ever. Just over two minutes in Lane Gilliss scored and the fur was flying. Gilliss’s goal was the fastest reported teddy bear goal in Winterhawks history, shaving over fifteen seconds off the fastest goal, which was set last year. Over 10,000 bears and assorted plush hit the ice and as quickly as they landed, they were scooped onto tarps, trucks and bins to be given to many charities.

With the cleanup, so to went the Chiefs’ hopes of winning the game. Just under two minutes later, the Hawks added another and before the midway point, Jake Gricius added another to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead. That spelled a goalkeeper change for Spokane as Dawson Weatherill gave way to Bailey Brkin.

The Hawks replied, though, as Ryan Hughes added to the lead, under four minutes into the second, but they did allow Spokane to breathe life when they scored a pair of goals in the period. Jaydon Dureau made sure that was it for Spokane as he added another to the Winterhawks total and Seth Jarvis padded the lead a minute later to end the second period at 6-2.

Goals in the third by Ryan Hughes and Reece Newkirk capped off the night as the Hawks blasted 44 shots to Spokane’s 20 with over double digit shots per period as the Hawks won 8-2. Twelve different Winterhawks made their way in the stat sheet and the Winterhawks’ eight-goal output was the best performance in Winterhawks Teddy Bear Toss history dating back to the 1998-99 season, which is about when the practice of throwing bears and plush on the ice started a tradition in Portland morphed around the league.

The Kootenay Ice came to Portland in their only visit of the year as rumors swirl around them as to the future; will they end up leaving Cranbrook at the end of this season—as rumored—and move to Winnipeg? This has been an issue for a few years now, which is tough for a town of 16,000 to continue to support.

The Hawks obviously didn’t spend all of their energy the previous night, as they lit the lamp just 28 seconds into the game. Joachim Blichfeld recorded the first two Hawk goals, the second on the powerplay and others by Jaydon Dureau and Michal Kvasnica gave everyone in attendance Jumbo Jacks from Jack in the Box before the end of the first period.

Eight and a half minutes into the second, Blichfeld capped off the hat trick on the powerplay and sent Duncan McGovern from the nets to be replaced by Jesse Makaj, which resulted in a goal by Kootenay less than a minute later.

The Hawks’ Cody Glass restored the lead midway through the second period but was replied by Kootenay on the power play before the end of the period with the Hawks leading 6-2.

A strong third period by Portland, which resulted in 21 shots to eight gave the Hawks goals by Cody Glass, Reece Newkirk and Lane Gilliss on the power play and regular strength gave the Hawks a 10-2 win.

Portland took four goals on five power plays and gave up one power play goal on five Kootenay attempts.  

Kootenay continues its US Division in Tri City and Spokane swing before they return to Cranbrook. Portland will face Prince George in a double-header next weekend as they try to put more distance  between them and Spokane ands Tri City and try and catch up to Everett

Ice Chips: The Booster Club will run a day trip to Everett on Saturday February 9, 2019 and will sell remaining seats at the games this coming weekend. Cost includes transport from Portland to Everett return and game ticket. Snacks and bottled water are available on the coach while traveling.

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