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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland at Everett – Game #20

Ben Ludeman

The top two teams in the U.S. Division clash in western Washington on Wednesday night. The Hawks and Silvertips face one another four times in November, including twice this weekend.

Puck Drop: 7:05 p.m.

Venue: Angel of the Winds Arena

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 4 vs. Rockets 2: Portland closed the weekend on a high note, beating the Kelowna Rockets 4-2 on Sunday evening. The win marks their fifth straight win of the month.

The Hawks continued on the momentum they built on Saturday night. Fifteen minutes into the game, the Hawks scored on a transitional play. Cross Hanas settled the puck in his defensive zone and worked it up the boards to Mason Mannek. Mannek skated in on the left side and shot through a screen to open the scoring and give Portland the important 1-0 advantage.

Offense continued in the second period and the Hawks increased their lead to 2-0. After the Hawks cycled the offensive zone, Cody Glass found Joachim Blichfeld free in the slot behind two defenders. The captain put the pass on Blichfeld’s stick and he knocked it home for his first of the night.

Kelowna cut into the Portland lead just moments into their mid-period power play. Kyle Crosbie cleaned up a pad stop by Shane Farkas to make it 2-1. Farkas played 89 minutes and 46 second of consecutive shutout hockey before allowing that goal.

Reece Newkirk helped the Hawks increase their lead on the penalty kill. Cody Glass intercepted a puck at his own blue line, which led to a 2-on-1 rush with Newkirk. Glass fed the puck right on the tape of the Moose Jaw native who one timed it in for his 12th goal of the season. It was the third time the Hawks scored shorthanded this year.

The Rocket trimmed the Hawks lead again during a delayed penalty. Mark Liwiski worked himself to the slot and shoveled in the team’s second of the night to make it a 3-2 contest.

The Hawks controlled the third period and scored the lone goal of the frame thanks to Blichfeld. A give-and-go feed between Blichfeld and Glass got Roman Basran moving and the Danish forward scored blocker side and recorded his fourth multi-goal performance of the season.

TODAY’S OPPONENT:

Everett is 2-1-0-0 against the Winterhawks this season and will host the Hawks for the third time in 2018. It has been a month since the two teams played one another, and both organizations have been hot. The Hawks enter the match-up with a five game winning streak. The ‘Tips are 4-1-0-0 in November, winners of their last four, and have an impressive goal differential of +14 during that stretch.

Offensively, the 2018 Western Conference Champions have scored at least five goals in each of their November wins. Connor Dewar enters the night on a ten game point streak (11-8–19), and he tacked on an assist at the CIBC Canada Russia Series for Team WHL last week. Dewar and fellow forward Bryce Kindopp pace the way for the Silvertips with three points in three games against Portland.

The Hawks have only scored seven goals against the Silvertips this season (from six different players) and they will catch a hot goaltender in Dustin Wolf. Since the last head-to-head meeting on October 14, the Silvertips have allowed fewer than 30 shots in nine consecutive games. Wolf’s 1.75 goals against average is third best in the WHL.

Special teams play will be an important factor this weekend. Both teams convert at better than a 25% clip on the man advantage, yet they are just a combined 2/35 against each other. The Silvertips will have a tall task of shutting down a Cody Glass-Joachim Blichfeld combo that represents nine goals and 15 assists during the five game winning streak.

The Hawks hit the road Wednesday, November 14th to take on the Silvertips. They return home on November 16th for a home game against the Everett Silvertips for the Les Schwab Toy Drive. Individual tickets are now on sale. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.

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