The Portland Winterhawks entered the weekend with three straight wins and then two games, one at home and one up in Spokane, before coming home to a pair.
Without Gabe Klassen, their leading scorer out with a day-to-day upper-body injury, the Hawks had to dig in to accomplish their goal of defeating the opposition.
First, they faced the Medicine Hat Tigers. Several years since the Winterhawks met Alberta teams, they had a pair coming in early in October. The Tigers are a tough one each time, not always the best, but a tough team to get a win against.
James Stefan and Luca Cagnoni picked up goals midway through the first frame to end the period 2-0. Thomas Mrsic replied for the Hat close to the six-minute mark of the second period before Josh Zareski put the Hawks up by two again midway through the period.
Two goals by Medicine Hat less than a minute apart brought the game to a tie as the period ended, sending the match to overtime.
Ryder Thompson stretched a pass to Kyle Chyzowski, who went in alone against Beckett Langkow for the win.
Neither team scored on the powerplay, with Medicine Hat having two chances while the Hawks had none. Shots favored Portland 41-23. Dante Giannuzzi added yet another victory to his total.
The next night the travel was to Spokane to face the Chiefs, a team they had mixed success with in the preseason.
Another 20-year-old in Robbie Fromm-Delorme acted in the heroics with a pair of goals and assists as the Hawks won 5-2. Robbie started the scoring off at 14:08 of the first period on the power play, with Dawson Pasternak adding another with twelve seconds in the period.
Powerplay goals from Kyle Chyzowski and Robbie Fromm-Delorme padded the Hawks’ lead to four as the period ended.
Jack O’Brien added another on the powerplay early in the third to make the lead insurmountable at 5-0.
Spokane added a pair of goals, one on the powerplay to get on the board, but still fell 5-2 in Jan Spunar’s turn between the pipes.
Portland edged Spokane 28-26 on shots and went 4 for 7 on the powerplay, while Spokane went 1 for 2 on theirs.
The Hawks move to the top of the US Division and Western Conference with the weekend wins.
The Hawks this past week were listed in the tenth spot in the CHL Poll, with Winnipeg still atop the poll. However, Winnipeg lost this weekend, with Portland winning twice, and could very well see Portland climb the rankings again. Portland will get a test this coming weekend in the first home matchup with the Memorial Cup hosts Kamloops Blazers, who, despite their 3-1 record, is listed as fifth in the poll.
The Portland Winterhawks Booster Club also announced a trip to Everett coming up on December 3, 2022. Interested fans can sign up at any home game right now.