Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland at Seattle – Game #36

Dayna Fjord

Portland (22-12-0-1) at Seattle (16-14-4-1) – 6:05 p.m. PST – ShoWare Center, Kent, WA


Watch: Portland’s CW

The Winterhawks take on the Seattle Thunderbirds for the first time in nearly three months. The last time these two teams met, Portland came away with a 10-5 win in Seattle. The Hawks are coming off a big 3-2 overtime win over the Americans last night.

PREVIOUS GAME RECAP – PORTLAND 3 at TRI-CITY 2 (OT): The Winterhawks scored with just 1:00 minute remaining in the third to tie it and then Skyler McKenzie scored the game winner in overtime to give Portland a 3-2 win over the Americans.

Portland (22-12-0-1) hit three crossbars during the first two periods but couldn’t beat Americans (19-11-3-0) goaltender Patrick Dea, and the game went scoreless through two periods.

In the third, the Americans got on the board first 1:36 into the frame. But the Hawks responded with a goal from Ty Kolle to tie the game 8:24 into the period. The Americans retook the lead 13:58 into the final frame on a powerplay goal from Jordan Topping. With Shane Farkas on the bench and six attackers on the ice, Mason Mannek tipped home a Conor MacEachern point shot to tie things up with just 1:00 minute remaining.

In overtime, Skyler McKenzie buried a sweet feed from Ryan Hughes to pick up his second overtime game winner of the season and gave Portland the 3-2 win.

Shane Farkas made 39 saves in the win.

TODAY’S OPPONENT: Like Portland, Seattle is coming off a come from behind win last night. The Thunderbirds came back from two goals down to beat the Spokane Chiefs 5-4 last night at the ShoWare Center.

The Thunderbirds have been firing on all cylinders offensively as of late. Seattle has 24 goals in their last four games and have gone 3-0-1-0 during that stretch. Noah Volcan has led the charge for Seattle, with goals in four straight games and nine points in his last four contests.

Overage defenseman Austin Strand has continued his dominant year. The Los Angeles Kings prospect has points in six of his last seven games and his 34 points on the season are the 7th most in the WHL among defenseman.

WINTERHAWKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: With some of the Winterhawks top players away at the World Junior Championship, Mason Mannek has been asked to play a larger role offensively for Portland and has not disappointed. Mannek has 15 shots over his last four games and picked up his fifth goal of the season last night against the Americans with 1:00 minute remaining in the game.

Skyler McKenzie scored his team leading 24th goal of the season last night. McKenzie also leads all Winterhawks in goals against the Thunderbirds this year with three in two games.

Brendan De Jong is playing some of his best hockey of the season recently. The Carolina Hurricanes draft pick was all over the ice against the Americans and now has three points in his last two games.

STAT OF THE DAY: Four of Mason Mannek’s five goals this season have come in the third period.

Here’s how the two teams have played head-to-head this season:

Winterhawks: 2-0-0-0                Thunderbirds: 0-2-0-0

Season Series:

09/30/17 – Seattle 2 @ Portland 6

10/07/17 – Portland 10 @ Seattle 5

12/30/17 – Portland @ Seattle

12/31/17 – Seattle @ Portland

01/09/18 – Portland @ Seattle

01/13/18 – Seattle @ Portland

02/10/18 – Portland @ Seattle

02/11/18 – Seattle @ Portland

03/02/18 – Seattle @ Portland

03/04/18 – Portland @ Seattle

03/16/18 – Seattle @ Portland

03/17/18 – Portland @ Seattle

Portland returns home tomorrow for their Toyota New Year’s Eve game at the Moda Center against the Seattle Thunderbirds! Make sure to grab your tickets HERE!

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