The Portland Winterhawks took it on the chin as they wrapped up their seven-game away-from-home trip with the final game in Everett. The loss was the widest margin all season for the Hawks, and the first time they gave up double digits all season. A converted touchdown was the difference in the game as the Hawks got hammered 10-3.
Dante Gianuzzi started the game and was replaced after giving up nine goals in the second period. Jan Spunar relacing Dante to start the third, gave up one.
Everett started with a pair of goals just over a minute apart at 5:26 and 6:36 before the Hawks got on the board just before the 10-minute mark. Everett scored toward the end of the period.
The second period was similar: Everett scored at 5:13 and 6:10 and then piled on four more goals with scoring at 9:06 and 16:05 and a pair a minute apart at 17:11 and 18:11.
The third period saw Everett score before the 12-minute mark, and then Portland picked up a pair with Gabe Klassen on the powerplay and Ryan McCleary just over a minute later to end the scoring. Everett outshot Portland 37-31 while Portland went 1-2 on the powerplay; Everett put 4-6 on their powerplay.
That was the end of the road trip as they headed back to Portland for a game against Tri-City. Would the team bounce back from the defeat, or would they be licking their wounds?
Against Tri-City, the mascots came out in full force with a game versus the Junior Winterhawks during the first intermission of play. Jan Spunar took his turn between the pipes as the Hawks looked to bounce back. Spunar made a brilliant save as he swatted the puck out of the air on a sure goal but couldn’t stop them all, falling victim to a goal from between the faceoff dots over the left shoulder.
Two minutes later, Marcus Nguyen, through traffic, was able to capitalize on his own to tie the game heading to the second period.
The Hawks Gabe Klassen scored, with Tri-City matching it three minutes later to leave the score knotted at 2.
Kyle Chykowski blasted home a shot that flattened Tri-City goaltender Thomas Suchanek to breathe some life into the Hawks. While on the powerplay, Jaden Lupen answered for Tri-City to tie the game again.
James Stefan was assessed a Check to the Head major and game misconduct with 45 seconds remaining in the period, which carried over to overtime. Adam Mechura took advantage of the ensuing powerplay after a couple of minutes and trickled the puck just to the right of Jan Spunar’s right skate for the win at 4-3. Tri City outshot Portland 44-34, going 2 for 5 on the powerplay versus 1-2 for Portland.
While the Hawks gained a point in passing regulation, they suffered their ninth straight loss.
With that, Seattle Thunderbirds capture the US Division title and enjoy home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. Three points back of Winnipeg for the overall title is anyone’s game in the next couple of weeks about who will be the Scotty Munro champions for the best overall record.
The Hawks, meanwhile, are almost set in their spot, with enough points to settle into third overall, but await the mess in the other spots to see who they might face. They were poised to meet Prince George, but a resurgence by the Cougars has vaulted them to fourth so that Portland could face Tri-City. It could be Everett, though, as the two teams are tied with nine games to go for Tri-City and ten for Everett.
In one of those ten games, Portland faced the Everett Silvertips. Even though Everett is nowhere near the top of the division, the shellacking of Portland 10-3 while in Everett will play on many people’s minds.
It started with an Everett goal midway through the first period. However, Portland wasn’t to be denied. Gabe Klassen scored towards the end of a barrage of shots by Portland 22-8.
With the game tied and on the powerplay, Luca Cagnoni fired a shot from above the faceoff dot as Gabe Klassen faked a shot and instead made a quick pass to Cagnoni. Through traffic, Cagnoni’s shot went past goaltender Tyler Palmer to put the Hawks in the lead 2-1.
The third period was the only period for Everett to outshoot the Hawks, but Jan Spunar made several saves to keep the lead for the Hawks. Both Everett and Portland called timeouts near the end of the game.
With 18 seconds left, Jack O’Brien intercepted a pass from Everett and found Robbie Fromm-Delorme, His shot from the Hawks side of center ice was center in the empty net as the Hawks sealed the win at 3-1 with mild retribution for Friday night. Portland went 1 for 7 on the powerplay vs. Everett 1-2 and outshot the Silvertips 44-28.
As expected, the Hawks fell out of the CHL rankings entirely but have a chance to restart the climb with their next game at the Spokane Arena vs. the Chiefs on Friday.