After three grueling games, the Portland Winterhawks returned to home ice and lit the lamp over and over again. Outside while there was a trailer promoting NHL Black History Month featuring several Winterhawks in the NHL with its only stop in a non-NHL city the Winterhawks were inside shellacking the opposition. Two weeks prior against Moose Jaw, the Hawks took an 11-2 thrashing of the Warriors; two weeks later, the same score.
Last week, the game against Tri-City was a close call at 3-1 with an empty-net goal giving the Hawks a two-goal win. The Hawks scored that goal total in the first period alone with Jaydon Dureau, Clay Hanus and Hawks’ goal-leading Seth Jarvis. Tri-City scored late in the first period to spoil the shutout bid for Joel Hofer.
In the second period, Jack O’Brien scored just 30 seconds into the period in the first of his hat-trick goals. Jake Gricius scored midway through the period with Tri-City notching their second of the game three minutes later with Cross Hanus Hawks closing out the period with seconds remaining to increase the lead to four. Five goals were scored in the third period by the Winterhawks, Tyson Kozak started it off and a pair by Jack O’Brien gave him the hat trick. Goals by Robbie Fromm-Delorme on the powerplay and Kozak’s second goal of the night gave the Hawks the 11-2 romp.
Portland outshot Tri-City 48-32 and was a perfect 1 for 1 on the powerplay and also shut out Tri-City on their two-man advantage attempts. Mason Dumsford was in net for all eleven goals as he was the only dressed goaltender for the Americans.
Next up for Portland will be the doubleheader with Victoria over the weekend. The Royals will have had almost the whole week off after a 4-1 win over Vancouver. Portland’s win also leaps them to the top spot in the league, a point up on Everett and Edmonton, but giving a game in hand to the Tips and getting a game in hand from Edmonton.
These next couple of weeks should be very interesting. Portland has now scored 261 goals, 10 more than their closest rival and while five other teams have fewer goals scored on them, and the Hawks are very close to three of the teams by a goal or two.
With the CHL Poll coming out prior to the Tri-City drubbing, the Winterhawks slipped to sixth in the poll behind Everett and Edmonton. Still in first is Sherbrooke and then Ottawa, with Moncton Wildcats retaining their spots. Portland, Everett and Edmonton traded spaces. London went up a spot, Chicoutimi went down and Saginaw enters the poll. This week’s poll looks like this:
(1) Sherbrooke Phoenix, (2) Ottawa 67’s, (3) Moncton Wildcats, (4) Everett Silvertips, (5) Edmonton Oil Kings, (6) Portland Winterhawks, (7) London Knights, (8) Chicoutimi Sagueneens, (9) Kitchener Rangers, and (10) Saginaw Spirit, with honourable mention to the Flint Firebirds, Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Spokane Chiefs.
Spokane may get a boost after a 6-2 win over Edmonton in Oil King country and it gets tough for the Oil Kings when they face Medicine Hat. The next poll will come out when none of the teams will be playing that night, so the numbers will be better reflective. There may be a glitch as Spokane host Kamloops the night prior and with the time zone difference, the score may not be reflected in the poll, but the poll will be close.
Appearances for the Hawks are temporarily suspended owing to the Coronavirus. The two Les Schwab events set for next Tuesday have been pushed back to an unknown date if they will happen at all this season.