After a tough shootout loss, it was back to Portland and then a quick road trip to Seattle for the first of eight televised games. In Portland, the Hawks faced off against the Everett Silvertips, who allowed Portland one point getting past regulation time just a couple days ago and were trying to get a win on home ice.
As he was player of the week this past week, Joachim Blichfeld stole the show as the Hawks romped to a 5-2 win over the visiting Silvertips. Jake Gricius started things off for Portland with a power-play goal early in the period, Everett tied it midway through the frame, but Joachim Blichfeld picked up goals in the first, second and third, to give the Winterhawks a commanding lead. Midway through the third, Everett got within a couple of goals; however, Mason Mannek sealed the deal with an empty net goal of his own to close out the scoring late in the third period.
The shots were tied at 29 each and Portland’s early goal was the only power-play goal in the contest with Portland going one for four and Everett blanked on their five chances.
The Hawks loaded the bus and headed to Thunderbird Country in Kent, Wash., where they have been hit-and-miss this season and gave Dante Giannuzi only his second start of the season. It started well for Portland, who built a 2-0 lead with goals by Jake Gricius and Clay Hanus, which also gave Dante his first-ever point, an assist on the goal by Hanus. Within a minute, the Birds were on the board and added a late goal in the first to tie the game. The Thunderbirds rattled off a pair in the second frame to take a strong lead and added another early in the third to make the game unreachable.
Nick Perna added another for the Hawks to give them left, but that window of life was short lived as the Thunderbirds would add another just four minutes later. A goal on the power play by Jake Gricius made the score a bit more respectable, but went down as still a regulation loss 6-4 for Seattle.
Portland, with 55 shots on net to Seattle’s 36 and ai power play that went two for five against Seattle’s goose egg in three chances woth the man advantage, wasn’t enough for the Hawks to get a win, and the Hawks now lose their streak of points at 13 out of 16, not bad for the young crew.
Portland remains in second place, four points back of Everett with a game in hand. Seattle remains in its basement, 13 points back of Portland. The big story is the resurgence of Spokane, which has pulled within seven points of Portland after floundering the past couple of weeks. Prince Albert continues an incredibly strong run at 20-1 and has passed the century mark in goals for. Kootenay Ice has the distinction of the first team going 100 goals against.
The word is Kootenay will relocate to a small arena in Winnipeg starting next season. The new owners out of Winnipeg had a campaign to get a stronger season ticket holder base. That hasn’t worked out as they had actually side in the base as have a few teams this season. Some have talked about a new team coming to Cranbrook, but no one is certain of that. The big push ended this week on season ticket pushes for Kootenay and no meetings on the subject will be going on until the Governors Meeting in February.
This week, the Hawks entertain Calgary in their only visit to P-Town, with a Wednesday date at the Moda Center. Two games this coming weekend against Seattle, which will televise on CW32 Portland and Joetv in Seattle and then Everett will round out the weekend, both of which will take place at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
December 2 is Hawks Fight Hunger as Portland entertains Kootenay at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The event, sponsored by Fred Meyer, works with the Zero Waste Initiative to drive food to those in need rather than a landfill. Prior to the season, Portland had players carry bags to the car and bag groceries for a donation to the charity which aided in this cause.