The Portland Winterhawks fell out of the CHL Top Ten Poll this past week, and one knew they wouldn’t take it lightly. They would play in two four-point games as they faced Everett on the road and then a home game which would be the last regular season televised game against Seattle.
In Everett, the Hawks and Silvertips skated through the first period tied at zero, unlike the last game where six goals were scored in the first period leading to Everett’s toppling of the Hawks a week ago.
Everett finally opened the scoring with Ollen Zellweger on the powerplay, but it took the Hawks just sixteen seconds to equal the score as Robbie Fromm-Delorme scored his fifteenth of the year. A minute and a half later, Portland’s Jaydon Dureau scored, and the Hawks headed to the locker room up 2-1.
Everett would score the next three goals as Jacob Wright, Jackson Berezowski, and Aidan Sutter scored to appear to make Portland suffer yet another loss. With Taylor Gauthier on the bench for an extra attacker, Clay Hanus scored with just 14 seconds left on the clock and, as a result, took the game to overtime. Cross Hanas was able to catch his 24th of the year just over a minute in to allow Portland a 5-4 overtime win. The shots were 47 – 44 in Portland’s favor, and Portland couldn’t register a goal on its three powerplay chances, while Everett was able to get one goal on its three chances.
Portland then headed home for its final battle with Seattle and keeping the Thunderbirds from breathing further down their neck as just three points separated the two.
In the first game at Portland during the regular season this year, a hat trick was registered by the Hawks.
Jaydon Dureau started things off with a shorthanded goal just under seven minutes in. Two minutes later, Gabe Klassen tallied his 32nd of the year, and the Hawks and Thunderbirds remained tied at ten shots apiece, heading to the second period.
Barely into the second period, Jaydon Dureau scored again just past the twenty-second mark. Less than three minutes later, Josh Mori added to the Hawks’ total at four.
Seattle wasn’t to be denied. They would score four straight goals with three in the second and one in the third as they tied up the game.
Less than a minute after Seattle’s fourth goal, Jaydon Dureau netted his third of the game, and the Hawks skated away with a 5-4 regulation win.
Portland narrowly outshot Seattle 35-33, and powerplays went two for seven for Portland and Seattle one for four.
Two points separate the teams scrambling for the last three playoff spots. Vancouver has six games remaining, Victoria and Spokane each at four, and Prince George having five.
Portland is now five points up on Seattle, with both the Thunderbirds and Winterhawks having four games left.
Portland will now play the next three on the road as they play Vancouver, who they have yet to beat, Kamloops, and then Tri-Cities. They will finish the season at home on Friday, April 15, as they play the Everett Silvertips.
That night will also be when the team hands out its awards, including the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club Memorial Most Popular Player of the Year.