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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland at Kelowna – Game #63

Marissa Baecker

The Winterhawks look for the clean sweep against Kelowna as they play their fourth and final game against the Rockets.

Puck Drop: 5:05 p.m.

Venue: Prospera Place

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 2 at Rockets 1 – Overtime: Portland won its third straight game against Kelowna, outlasting them 2-1 in overtime.

The Winterhawks won the battle of special teams thanks to Jake Gricius riding in a rebound 66 seconds into the game. Following the goal, things stayed relatively quiet through the rest of regulation time. It was a defensive battle throughout and Kelowna finally evened the score after nearly 55 minutes of play. Alex Swetlikoff redirected in a point shot to tie the game at 1-1.

With the game heading to bonus hockey, Portland was able to secure its third overtime win of the season. The 3-on-3 overtime period had a completely different feel than regulation time with the two teams combining for six shots in 82 seconds before the Hawks put the game to rest.

Roman Basran stopped back-to-back shots from Joachim Blichfeld and then made a scorpion save-of-the-year candidate stop on Johnny Ludvig in the opening shift of the overtime period.

Kelowna had two scoring chances of its own that Farkas shuffled aside and eventually led to the game-winning two-on-one rush. Seth Jarvis floated a puck to center where Jaydon Dureau jammed it in for his 12th goal of the year, the winning marker tonight.

The Hawks and Rockets are set for their final meeting of the season Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m.

NOTABLES:

  • Jake Gricius scored his 14th power play goal of the season to open the Saturday offense. He is second on the team in power play goals and over half of his goals this season have come in the first period.
  • With the overtime-winning goal, Dureau now has three points in his last four games. It was his third game-winning goal of the year.
  • Goaltender of the Month Shane Farkas reeled in the first 25 shots he faced and was recognized as the second star for his 28-save victory.
  • It was the sixth straight start Roman Basran has allowed two or fewer goals.

TODAY’S MATCH-UP:

After beating Kelowna 3-0 and 4-2 at home in the fall, they took their first road meeting in overtime. Through 181 minutes of hockey, Shane Farkas and the Hawks have allowed only three goals to the B.C. Division team. Farkas sports a 3-0-0-0 record against the Rockets with a .99 goals-against-average, .965 save percentage and one shutout.

On a random note, all three Rockets goals have come from 17-year-old rookies. Tonight, the Rockets play in their first and only Sunday home game of the year. Their last home win against the Hawks was in October 2017.

Former second round WHL Bantam pick Nolan Foote had his four game goal streak snapped on Saturday night. He leads the team with 33 goals and has the same amount of goals in his 18 year old season as Jaime Benn once did as an 18 year old when he played for the Rockets in the early 2000’s.

The Winterhawks are still fighting for home ice advantage in the first round of playoffs. With a five point lead over Spokane in the standings, the Hawks magic number is 10 for clinching home ice. The Rockets are three games up on Kamloops for the final playoff spot in the B.C. Division. The Rockets and Blazers have a critical home-in-home series next weekend.

Join the Rosebuds and the Winterhawks fans tonight at the Buffalo Wild Wings Hazel Dell location. It’s the official watch party of the night. The Hawks next home game is Tuesday, March 12 against the Everett Silvertips at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Please visit¬†winterhawks.com/tickets¬†for full details on pricing and availability.

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