After bagging eight goals against Swift Current, the Portland Winterhawks took the drive to Red Deer to face the Rebels. Would the Winterhawks have worn out the shooting after the eight goal outburst? That answer would be answered in the first period.
Seth Jarvis opened the scoring before the midway mark of the period, while on the powerplay. Late in the period, it was Simon Knak adding a goal with just nineteen seconds left on the clock.
The Winterhawks went to the powerplay again at the midway point of the second period with John Ludvig tallying the point. Just past the seventeen-minute mark, it was Clay Hanus getting the goal. With it to start the third period, Ethan Anders was replaced by Gyron Fancy to stimulate the Rebels’ woeful offense.
How woeful? Well in the second and third periods, they mustered just five shots total as the Hawks outshot Red Deer 41-16 and picked up two goals on five chances while blanking the Rebels on their five opportunities with the man up. While not a heavily penalized game, Portland took advantage at every chance in shutting down the Rebels.
After the last time, they faced Red Deer at home in a shutout at 2-0; the 5-0 trouncing of the Rebels gave them two straight wins and a 13-2-goals for advantage in the two games. With the one game remaining against Edmonton, the Hawks will then end their longest road trip of the season and an incredible 27 days away from a home game.
The Hawks finished off the trip with an early-afternoon game against the Oil Kings. The teams have been no stranger to each other as they have faced each other in a number of WHL playoff games and finals during the past ten years.
The early afternoon game ended the longest road trip of the year and will put the Hawks back on home soil after being 27 days away from the home area. Edmonton opened the scoring on a 3-on-1 rush just past the ten-minute mark. The goal would hold up to complete the first period.
Even though the shots were tied at 12 in the second period, it seemed to be a lackluster period, with only one penalty called. That penalty, in itself, was very late and it would be over four minutes in until John Ludvig put the Hawks on the board.
The teams would then play a scoreless rest of the third period and overtime, settling things in a shootout. Portland wasn’t able to score on its three tries, while Edmonton scored once on its three tries to win the game 2-1. Edmonton outshot Portland 40-32 and neither team scored on the seven total man advantage opportunities afforded.
With the shootout loss, Portland ends the swing with 2 wins, three losses and a shootout loss for 5 of a possible 12 points.
The Everett Silvertips made the big trade this week, sending 18-year-old Reece Vitelli, second and fourth-round picks in 2021 and a conditional third-round pick in 2022 to get 19-year-old Cole Fonstad. Fonstad was a major player in Prince Albert’s Memorial Cup run. Prince Albert has made one trade to get a player, but has completed three trades giving up a ninth-round draft pick and two players.
With the shootout loss point, Portland goes to the top of the US Division standings by a point, giving a game in hand to Everett, Tri City and Spokane and two games to Seattle. The teams will be pretty close to paired over the next week as all teams will play except Portland during the week.
Perhaps one of the biggest happenings in the WHL comes out of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where they have announced the first-ever woman in WHL history as an assistant coach. Twenty-five-year-old Olivia Howe has been added to the Warriors staff as a coaching assistant. Howe will serve as the “eye in the sky” for the Warriors, sitting in the press box and relaying what she sees to the rest of the Warriors staff during games. During practices, Howe will work on player and skill development.
Howe has an extensive background in hockey, dating back to 2008 and with her skills in coaching, scouting and playing in the Moose Jaw area and being from Moose Jaw adds a hometown flavor to the team.