Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs Seattle – Game #37

Brian Liesse

Portland (22-12-1-1) vs Seattle (17-14-4-1) – 7:00 p.m. – Moda Center, Portland, OR


Watch: Portland’s CW


The Thunderbirds and Hawks face off for the second time in as many nights. Seattle came away with a 4-3 overtime victory last night over Portland at the ShoWare Center. Portland holds a 2-1 season series lead over Seattle.

PREVIOUS GAME: Winterhawks 3 at Seattle 4 (OT): The Winterhawks and Thunderbirds battled it out in a hard-fought game that came down to the wire Saturday night, with Seattle eventually coming out on top 4-3 in overtime.

The game was scoreless after 20, but the Hawks (22-12-1-1) would get on the board first with a powerplay goal from Skyler McKenzie 44 seconds into the second period. Seattle (17-14-4-1) responded 17 seconds later to tie the game. Alex Overhardt then potted his eighth of the season, again on the powerplay, to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead heading into the third.

Seattle struck just 10 seconds into the final frame to tie things at two. But again, Portland retook the lead on a goal from McKenzie, his team leading 26th of the season and second on the night. Defenseman Brendan De Jong picked up his third assist of the game on the goal. The Thunderbirds would tie things up with just under seven minutes to play to eventually send things to overtime.

Goaltender Cole Kehler made several incredible saves in the extra frame but eventually the Thunderbirds broke through on a goal from Jarret Tyszka that gave Seattle the victory.

In total, Kehler made 29 saves on the night. Portland played with just 11 forwards in the game, missing several key players to the World Junior Championship and injury.

TODAY’S OPPONENT: Jarret Tyszka potted the game winner last night in OT against the Hawks. The Montreal Canadiens draft pick leads all Thunderbirds in points against Portland so far this season with four in three games.

Nolan Volcan picked up his 16th of the season last night, he leads Seattle in points with 39 in 36 games. Seattle looks like it will be without forward Sami Moilanen once again tonight.

The Thunderbirds possess a backend that loves to contribute offensively. Last night, two of Seattle’s four goals were scored by D-men and on the season three of the Thunderbirds top eight scorers are defenseman.

WINTERHAWKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: Skyler McKenzie leads all Winterhawks players in goals against Seattle this season with five in three games. The 98-born forward now has 10 goals in his last 13 games against the Thunderbirds.

Brendan De Jong continued his hot play last night, registering three points. The 6’5” defenseman now has six points in his last three games. The Carolina Hurricanes draft pick has been asked to play a larger role on the backend with the absence of both Henri Jokiharju and Keoni Texeira and has thrived during this current stretch.

While he didn’t register a point last night, Ty Kolle did have one of the Hawks best shifts of the season. Kolle went 1-on-5 against Seattle, possessing the puck all by himself for nearly an entire shirt, eventually drawing a penalty which led to a Portland powerplay goal. The Kamloops, BC born forward is playing some of the best hockey of his young WHL career lately, with two goals in his last five games.

STAT OF THE DAY:  With two points last night, Ryan Hughes now has 18 points in his last 15 games against Seattle.

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

Winterhawks: 2-0-1-0                Thunderbirds: 1-2-0-0

This Year’s Season Series:
09/30/17 – Seattle 2 @ Portland 6

10/07/17 – Portland 10 @ Seattle 5

12/30/17 – Portland 3 @ Seattle 4 (OT)  

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 is on the road for the next four games but return home on January 13th to face off with the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

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