Portland leads the series 3-2 after three games in which Seattle won a pair and Portland won one.
The mid-week game was not Portland’s best, as they dropped a 5-0 decision to the Thunderbirds.
Like in previous games, Portland would give up the first goal as Jared Davidson fired from just inside the faceoff dot past Gauthier. The score would hold up until the second period.
Lukas Svejkovsky added to the total at 5:29 of the second period after a messy play in front of the net. At the other end, Thomas Milic was stopping everything in front of him, often looking like the shots were labeled.
In the third period, Seattle got a powerplay goal from Conner Roulette as he tipped in a Lukas Svejkovsky shot from the faceoff dot.
The Hawks pulled Gauthier at 16:45 of the period to try to gain further offense, however, twenty seconds later, Jared Davison got his second of the night into the empty net, and Luca Ciona added to the misery with a goal just twenty-five seconds later to end the scoring at 5-0. Shots were 30-28 in Portland’s favor, and Portland was 0-3 on the powerplay versus 1-4.
The series moved to Seattle, where the Hawks would lead 2-1 in the series.
Unlike previous games, it was Portland would strike first.
Cross Hanas fired from the slot after Tyson Kozak stripped a Seattle player in the Thunderbirds zone past Milic to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Tyson Kozak, on the powerplay, added to Portland’s lead after a quick pass from Clay Hanus, and Portland led 2-0 at the end of one.
Seattle got on the board with Lukas Svejkovsky on the powerplay and finished off a traffic jam in front of the Portland net.
Portland would get the back on the powerplay four minutes later with Cross Hanas’ second of the night as he hung onto the puck, looking for a shot, and pulled Millic out of position.
Five minutes later, it was Jack O’Brien with another powerplay goal as he took a couple of whacks at the puck after Kyle Chyzowski took the initial shot.
Reid Schaefer was given a penalty shot which Taylor Gauthier saved which preserved the lead.
Seattle was on the powerplay late in the third period when Cross Hanas could get away from the pack. Holding onto the puck while preventing a Seattle defender from getting to it, Hanas fired into the empty net for his third of the night.
Portland won 5-1 and took a 3-1 series lead. Seattle outshot Portland 32-22 as Portland went 3 for 4 on the powerplay and Seattle 1 for 4.
The series then returned to Portland for Game 5.
It seems like Deja vu with Portland again giving up the first goal with Henrik Rybinski scoring on a follow-up shot. That score would hold through the period.
Robbie Fromm-Delorme scored for Portland with just 45 seconds left in the second period following a quick goalmouth pass from Jack O’Brien to even up the score.
The third period saw Nico Myatovic score just over two minutes into the third period following a turnaround pass from Reid Schaefer onto Nico’s stick which had Gauthier flat out on the ice.
Seattle would add an empty-net goal with eight seconds left to finish the game 3-1, and Portland still led the series 3-2
Seattle outshot Portland 37-33, and neither team scored on the powerplay with Seattle having four tries and Portland having three.
The series now head to Kent for Game 6 on Monday. Should a game seven be required, it would be Tuesday in Portland.
Vancouver and Kamloops tangled in game six, with Kamloops destroying Vancouver 6-0. Kamloops opened up a 2-0 lead early in the first period, including a shorthanded marker as the first goal. Two goals in the second period, including a powerplay goal, ensured the Cinderella story of the 8th seeded Giants was over. Two more goals in the third period, including another powerplay tally, ended all hopes for Vancouver. Kamloops ended with 34 shots to Vancouver’s 24 and went 2 of 6 on the powerplay, and stopped all three chances Vancouver had.
Kamloops now awaits the winner of the Portland versus Seattle match.