The WHL Season gets underway in a week for the regular season, and the Winterhawks are gearing up as they compete on the road before they bring the event to Portland in October. A pair of goals by Marcus Nuguyen, one on the powerplay, and singles by Diego Buttazoni, Braeden Joachims, and Nick Johnson propelled them to a 5-2 win over the Tri-City Americans.
Luke Brunen went the distance in the Hawks net as Nick Avakyan did so for Tri-City.
Portland went 3 for 6 on the powerplay, with Tri-City going 0 for 3, and outshot Tri-City 36-19, including a 20-shot barrage in the third period.
The next day was the rubber match with Spokane Chiefs, a team that won 3-2 last week and then lost a 7-6 nailbiter two nights before. This game in Tri-Cities saw the Hawks again go with Luke Brunen to start before giving way to Justen Maric to finish the game. Cooper Michaluk went the distance for Spokane.
Portland saw six different scorers hit the twine, with Alex Thompson and Tyson Yaremko trading goals with Spokane in the first two periods and then taking the next four with Marcus Nguyen, Kyle Chykowski, Diego Buttazoni and Braeden Joachims finishing off the 6-2 win.
Spokane outshot Portland 36-34 with the Hawks 1-2 on the powerplay and blanked Spokane on their four tries.
Portland gets things sorted out this week and heads to Wenatchee to face the Wild in their first meeting since the team relocated from Winnipeg as the ICE. The next battle will be with the Kelowna Rockets the next night.
Portland is on the road the following week versus Seattle before they have a five-game home stand to take most of October.
The Winterhawks are still waiting on players attending NHL camps and, hopefully, will know what to expect in the next couple of weeks.