The Portland Winterhawks started off with a bang in their 3 games in three nights playing 2 US Division opponents and the last Eastern Division opponent. The first game was at Veterans Memorial Coliseum where the Hawks took on the Spokane Chiefs. Though the Hawks won 4-1, it was a much tighter game as both are trying to make their inroads on the WHL Playoffs. Seth Jarvis got two goals in the game, the first and last for Portland with Jack O’Brien and Jonas Brondberg contributing singles. For Jarvis, the goals were 31 and 32 as he looks to be a high draft pick in the upcoming NHL selections. Neither team scored on the powerplay with Portland 0 for 3, Spokane 0 for 2 in a night where only 5 penalties were handed out. Portland outshot Spokane 37-33 in the contest and Spokane leads the final guaranteed playoff spot by twenty points, so they will be making the postseason easily.
Portland remained atop the US Division by nine points and the overall league lead by two.
The next night was on the road as the Winterhawks faced the Everett Silvertips who have picked up greatly with the run to the postseason. With only a loss in their last ten, the Tips need to make some ground up on the US Division leader. Starting just over two minutes in, the Tips got on the board. Dawson Butt was all over the Hawks, who couldn’t find enough legs to overcome the Tips power, especially in their defensive zone. Though Everett held a one-goal lead, it was Seth Jarvis making sure his streak stayed alive as he and Jaydon Dureau got past the defense and Dureau finished off a great pass by Jarvis to knot the game. The Tips weren’t done as they scored three goals in the period including two on the powerplay in which they were a perfect 2 for 2 and handed the Hawks a 4-1 loss in Everett. Portland was unable to capitalize on the pair of man-advantage chances they had. Many saw the Hawks looking a bit tired, which certainly didn’t help their cause. The only up for Portland was the 31-26 outshooting of Everett, but many of those shots were perimeter shots, while Everett was able to get tight shots in on Joel Hoefer in net for the Hawks.
With returning back to Portland and a near 50 point advantage in the standings, the Hawks feasted on a Moose Jaw Warriors squad that hasn’t been able to get much going this year. Brock Gould, who played a season and a half for Victoria Royals and then was traded to Moose Jaw, got the start. The Hawks scored first, two minutes in with one by Nick Ciecek with Moose Jaw’s Owen Hardy tying it up just past the seven-minute mark. The Hawks went 4 of 5 on the powerplay, giving up one to the Warriors on three tries. It was Reece Newkirk scoring three of those powerplay goals, who got the hattrick Reece scored twice in the first, once on the second before Cross Hanus, Jonas Brondberg on the powerplay and Tyson Kozak ended the second period with Portland up 8-1. Portland added three more in the third with Mason Mannek nabbing a pair and Kishaun Gervais with a single, before Moose Jaw closed the scoring while on the powerplay with under 90 seconds left in the game. Portland’s 57 shots to Moose Jaw’s 20 and the devastating powerplay went all Portland’s way. Even the three fights with John Ludvig, Lane Gillis and Kishaun Gervais were overwhelming to the Hawks advantage. Dante Giannuzzi got a rare start for Portland and picked up the win. He also assisted on the first goal, giving his first-ever assist and according to WHL stats, puts him in 54th place in the rookie scoring race.
Portland plays another three games in three nights with a game versus Seattle, a road trip to Seattle, which will air on CW32 TV and then a home game against the Silvertips to round out the weekend.
Andy Kemper, who does a great deal of stat work on the Winterhawks made a comment of the Hawks in their 99th double-digit game. They are 98-1 with the one loss to Calgary Wranglers in 1985 where the Hawks lost 11-10.
The Hawks will host a viewing party at Lloyd Center Buffalo Wild Wings with prizes for Hawks fans when they face Seattle on the 22nd. Saturday April 25 the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club will be a part of the 82nd Avenue Parade of Roses. The fifth year the PWHBC has been involved and have been awarded the Community Spirit Award twice and were the Grand Marshals in as well. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.