Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland (5-1-0-0) vs Spokane (4-3-0-0)
The Winterhawks take on the Spokane Chiefs for the third time in five days on Tuesday night at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Portland is 2-0 against Spokane this season and has outscored the Chiefs 13-3.
PREVIOUS GAME: After a three-game weekend, the Winterhawks finished strong on Sunday night with a 7-2 victory over Spokane.
The Hawks were first on the board with a goal from Skyler McKenzie. Under a minute later, Keoni Texeira ripped a shot off the crossbar to make it 2-0. Spokane responded later in the period with a goal from Riley Woods.
Conor MacEachern opened up the scoring in the second with a goal at the 4:19 mark. Then on a power play, McKenzie scored his second of the night with an assist from Cody Glass and Alex Overhardt. The Winterhawks weren’t done there, under a minute later Ryan Hughes buried one. This was Hughes’ third straight game with a goal. Then, Hughes came up big a few minutes later scoring a shorthanded goal with an assist from John Ludvig. It was Ludvig’s first career WHL point. The Hawks finished the period with a 6-1 lead.
Halfway through the third period, Henri Jokiharju scored on a slapshot from the blue line to make it 7-1. With the game out of reach, the Chiefs would add one more to make it a 7-2 final. Goaltender Cole Kehler improved his record to 4-0 and made 22 saves in the win.
WINTERHAWKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: Forwards Skyler McKenzie and Ryan Hughes lead Portland with three goals apiece in two games against the Chiefs this season. Cody Glass and Hughes have four points in the two contests. Goaltender Cole Kehler, who was just named WHL Goaltender of the Week, is 2-0-0-0 against the Chiefs with a 1.50 GAA and a .943 SV%.
STAT OF THE DAY: Goaltender Cole Kehler has won 12 straight regular season games. Over that 12-game span, he has a 2.08 GAA and a .924 SV%. His last regular season loss came on February 24th, 2017 in Everett.
TODAY’S OPPONENT: The Chiefs fell twice to Portland this past weekend and were outscored 13-3. Spokane was unable to capitalize on their powerplay opportunities, eventually going 0-for-13 with the man-advantage. The Chiefs PP now ranks 21st in the WHL and is converting at a rate of just 5.9% of the time.
Upfront, the return of forward Jake McGrew has helped a Spokane offense that remains without Kailer Yamamoto. McGrew has two points in two games against Portland, including scoring his first WHL goal on Friday. Goaltender Dawson Weatherill is 0-1-0-0 against Portland this year with a 5.27 GAA and .855 SV%.
Here’s how the two teams have played head-to-head against each other this season:
Winterhawks: 2-0-0-0 Chiefs: 0-2-0-0
10/06/17 – Portland 6 @ Spokane 1
10/08/17 – Spokane 2 @ Portland 7
10/10/17 – Spokane @ Portland
11/03/17 – Portland @ Spokane
12/12/17 – Portland @ Spokane
12/16/17 – Spokane @ Portland
01/05/18 – Portland @ Spokane
03/18/18 – Spokane @ Portland
Top Scorers Versus Opposing Team:
- Ryan Hughes: 2 GP: 3 G, 1 A, 4 PTS 1. Jake McGrew: 2 GP: 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS
- Cody Glass: 2 GP: 1 G, 3 A, 4 PTS 2. Riley Woods: 2 GP: 1 G, 0 A, 1 PTS
- Skyler McKenzie: 2 GP: 3 G, 0 A, 3 PTS 3. Eli Zummack: 2 GP: 1 G, 0 A, 1 PTS