Winterhawks, Chiefs Battle in Playoff Preview

Dayna Fjord

Portland Winterhawks (4) vs Spokane Chiefs (5)

Moda Center– Portland, OR– Sunday, March 18th

In the final game of the regular season, the Hawks scored three goals in the second period, but a late rally by the Chiefs eventually led to a 5-4 shootout victory for Spokane at the Moda Center on Sunday.

Spokane got on the board first, with Riley McKay picking up his fourth of the season 9:46 into the first period.

In the second, the Hawks responded with rookie Mason Mannek burying a Lane Gilliss pass to tie things at one. Then, with under eight minutes remaining in the second frame, Kieffer Bellows went shelf on Donovan Buskey on a pass from Cody Glass to give Portland it’s first lead of the game, 2-1. The Hawks weren’t done there. With under four minutes left in the second, Skyler McKenzie corralled a Keoni Texeira stretch pass and wired it past Buskey for his 47th goal of the season to extend Portland’s lead to 3-1.

In the third, Ryan Hughes made it 4-1 just 2:11 into the period on a wrister from between the hash marks. But Chiefs slowly began to chip away, beginning with a Jake McGrew powerplay goal with under nine minutes remaining. Just 37 seconds later, Milos Fafrak put a shot past Hawks goaltender Shane Farkas to make it a one-goal game. Then, with under a minute left in regulation and Spokane on the powerplay, Nolan Reid wired home a wrist shot from the left circle to tie things at four.

Overtime solved nothing, so the two teams went to a shootout. After four Hawks shooters could not beat Buskey, it was Riley McKay going five-hole on Farkas to give the Chiefs the 5-4 victory.

Farkas made 18 saves in the contest. The Winterhawks finish the season 44-22-1-5, their best regular-season performance since the 2013-14 season.

Pregame, the Hawks handed out their 2017-18 team awards. Below are the winners:

  • MVP – Cody Glass
  • Defensive Player – Henri Jokiharju
  • Rookie of the Year – Mason Mannek
  • Sportsmanship and Ability – Conor MacEachern
  • Scholastic Player of the Year – Mason Mannek
  • Leading Scorer Award – Cody Glass
  • Character, Leadership and Heart and Soul Award – Skyler McKenzie
  • Booster Club – Most Popular Player – Skyler McKenzie

The Hawks now head to the postseason and will face-off with the Chiefs in the first-round. Portland hosts Game #1 and Game #2 next Saturday and Sunday at the VMC. For complete information on the series, click here. 

You can purchase ticket packages and single game playoff tickets HERE!

Scoring Summary:

  • 1st @ 9:46 – SPO – Riley McKay (4), Jake McGrew
  • 2nd @ 2:48 – POR – Mason Mannek (10), Lane Gilliss, Jake Gricius
  • 2nd @ 12:15 – POR – Kieffer Bellows (41), Cody Glass, Clay Hanus
  • 2nd @ 16:07 – POR – Skyler McKenzie (47), Keoni Texeira
  • 3rd @ 2:11 – POR – Ryan Hughes (17)
  • 3rd @ 11:43 – SPO – Jake McGrew (19), Ethan McIndoe, Luke Gallagher (PP)
  • 3rd @ 12:20- SPO – Milos Fafrak (9)
  • 3rd @ 19:39 – SPO – Nolan Reid (14), Eli Zummack, Filip Kral (PP)
  • SO – SPO – Riley McKay


POR: 37

SPO: 22


POR: 0/3

SPO: 2/3


POR: Shane Farkas 14 saves

SPO: Donovan Buskey with 33 saves


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