The Winterhawks will get back veteran center Alex Overhardt for Game 5. The WHL announced further information on the suspensions resulting from Games 3 and 4, and though Evan Weinger will still be suspended for Game 5, Overhardt is back in the lineup. The Kelowna Rockets will be without Cal Foote, whose suspension was set at three games, as well as Carsen Twarynski who was suspended for his major hit on Keegan Iverson at the tail end of Game 4.
The return of Overhardt will add another veteran presence in the game for the Hawks, as Overhardt is a key penalty killer and faceoff man. Overhardt has also added an offensive spark to the lineup in the playoffs, chipping in one goal and four assists in his nine games. While you watch the game at a viewing party tonight, keep an eye on Mike Johnston’s usage of the veteran center in this pivotal game 5.
Jones Leads the Charge
Caleb Jones has been thoroughly impressive for the Hawks all season long, and has come up with massive performances in key moments this postseason. With the Hawks down 2-1 in the series against Prince George, Jones assisted on four goals in Game 4 to spark the Hawks into a crucial win to level the series. The Hawks would rattle off three straight wins and knock of the BC Division Champs.
Jones came up big again in Game 3 of this series against Kelowna, scoring his first goal of the postseason and adding an assist as the Hawks put together a fantastic second period and defended home ice. And in Wednesday’s loss, Jones led the shorthanded Hawks’ offense with his two points including goals now in back-to-back games. With Skyler McKenzie and Evan Weinger both out of the lineup for Game 5 tonight, the Hawks will need Jones to be at his best, which he normally provides in key games.
Hawks Looking to Force Game 6
With a win tonight, the Hawks would force Game 6 Sunday afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 5 o’clock. Prospera Place in Kelowna has been a difficult hunting ground for teams this season, but the Hawks can take solace in the fact they won in that building in January thanks to Joachim Blichfeld’s last second goal. The Kamloops Blazers also won Game 5 in Kelowna in the first round, before ultimately falling to the Rockets. A road win tonight for the Hawks would lead to some home-cooking Sunday, as the Hawks look to replicate their feat against the Cougars from Round 1 and win the final three games of the series.