The Portland Winterhawks started the games in Kennewick this week. Hayden DeLorme took the initial shot, but Beck Warm let out a rebound, which Jaydon Dureau grabbed and sent into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead
Out of the media timeout, Josh Paterson sent a pass to Joachim Blichfeld, who then returned to Paterson as Warm went the other way for a 2-0 score, which then ended the period.
The second period went scoreless. Out of the period break, Portland had a chance to get up to three; as Blichfeld entered the blueline, he lost an edge and gave up the puck as Tri City turned it into a 2-on-1 and scored on the resulting play, which cut the lead to one. Tri City would tie the game on a powerplay when they were able to work it around the zone and tip it past Hofer. Tri City would take the lead when they were able to prevent the Hawks from leaving their zone and at the faceoff dot they were able to cause a screen, which they used to perfection in wiring a shot past Hofer as they then reached the media timeout.
Tri City expanded the lead as Hofre went to cover one side of the net; the other side was exposed and not well covered by other teammates as Hofer saw the puck waft on by. Just over a minute later, Jared Freadrich brought the Hawks with one as he took a pass from Brendan DeJong, who went end to end and made no mistake with a blue line shot that fooled Beck Warm. Tri City would score an empty-net goal to take the game 5-3 as they also outshot Portland 35-and went 2-for-6 on the powerplay and Tri City held the Hawks scoreless on three chances with the man advantage.
The Hawks hit a snowy Seattle but controlled the game 4-1. They were within a couple minutes of a shutout, but a penalty against Lane Gilliss gave Seattle a powerplay goal and some life. Josh Paterson ended that dream with an empty net goal of his own. Joachim Blichfeld opened the scoring early in the first, with John Ludvig adding one at the media timeout. Lane Gilliss popped one in midway through the second with Paterson’s into an empty net. Though the shot totals at 28-26 Portland and going 0-for-2 on the powerplay versus 1-for-6 for Seattle, Portland controlled most of the game play. The next night, they headed to Everett, but had a different fortune that night.
Portland and Everett were tied at nothing each as they headed into the second period of play. With two powerplay goals, a short-handed goal and a regular-strength goal, Everett built up a 4-0 lead heading into the third. Jake Christensen added a powerplay goal in the third, which was his third of the night to put Everett up 5-0 as a final. Dustin Wolf stopped all 29 shots for the shutout. Portland allowed 53 shots in the game as well as giving up three powerplay goal on eight chances and were unable to convert any of their five chances with the man advantage.
With the win, Everett is assured a playoff spot still six points up on Portland, now with a game in hand and Portland still keep ahead of Spokane seven points back of the Hawks. The big surprise in the Conference is Kelowna, which is up five points as they hold onto third in the BC Division and have seen Prince George slide well back as they race to playoffs.
Portland then came home to face the Medicine Hat Tigers, a team that had done well against Everett with a shutout and an overtime loss to Seattle. Portland and Medicine Hat stayed tied at the first media timeout. Joachim Blichfeld got the Hawks on the board right out of the timeout and it stayed that way through the first and second intermissions. Early in the third, it was a short-handed goal by Medicine that tied the game and while each team had chances, none went past either goaltender so to overtime it went. Still tied at the end of overtime, the game went to a shootout. The first three rounds went scoreless, as did the fourth. Portland wasn’t able to get anything in the fifth, but Medicine Hat did and they won 2-1 in a shootout. Both teams were fruitless on four attempts each. Medicine Hat outshot the Hawks 39-33 .
Portland now has 72 points as they grind toward a playoff spot with 13 games left. They are close to clinching and may do it this week with a little help from other teams.
Ice Chips: The Booster Club found itself without a bus to Everett as it was canceled due to the weather. They will run nominations night on Friday, February 22, 6pm at Pour Sports (2157 NE Division St in Gresham) prior to the viewing party. There is a player appearance on Tuesday at Les Schwab locations on Barbur Blvd and SE Powell Blvd with players to be named.