Portland at Spokane – First Round, Game #4 – POR leads 2-1 – 7:00 p.m. – Spokane Arena
Portland and Spokane meet for Game 4 of their first-round series tonight at Spokane Arena. The Winterhawks came away with a 3-1 victory last night to take a 2-1 series lead. Portland is now 4-1 this season when playing in Spokane.
PREVIOUS GAME: The Winterhawks scored twice in the second period to take a 3-1 lead and never looked back, as Portland defeated the Chiefs 3-1 in Spokane on Wednesday. With the victory, Portland takes a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven first-round series.
Portland got on the board first, off a goal from Cody Glass. For Glass, it was his first goal of the postseason, but his fourth point. After killing off a 5-on-3 Spokane powerplay midway through the frame, the Hawks carried a one-goal lead into the first intermission.
In the second, the Chiefs got on the board 5:31 into frame, with Jarret Anderson-Dolan tucking one past Cole Kehler to tie things at one. Portland responded on the powerplay just over two minutes later, with Dennis Cholowski wristing one past Bailey Brkin to make it 2-1 Hawks. Just under four minutes later, Joachim Blichfeld tapped home his first of the postseason, off a sweet feed from Ryan Hughes. Portland took a 3-1 lead into the third.
In the final frame, the Hawks were dominating defensively, holding the Chiefs to just four shots overall. Spokane pulled their goalie late, but Portland stymied the Chiefs attempts at getting back in it, and held on for a 3-1 victory. Cole Kehler made 28 saves in the victory. With the win, the Hawks take a 2-1 series lead.
TODAY’S OPPONENT: The Chiefs outshot the Hawks 16-8 after the first period of last night’s Game 3, but were unable to capitalize on their chances. Cole Kehler made several big saves and Spokane would get only 13 shots the rest of the way. Spokane will have to do a better job of finishing off their scoring opportunities early, as Portland has been the better team later in games so far this series. The Hawks have allowed just 19 shots in the third period of the first three games.
A good sign for Spokane was Jaret Anderson-Dolan getting on the board last night. Anderson-Dolan scored his first goal of the series in Game 3, and had several other chances. For the Chiefs to be successful, they are going to need the rest of their number one line of Kailer Yamamoto (one assist in the series) and Ethan McIndoe (one goal and one assist) to produce more often.
Bailey Brkin settled in nicely as the night went on in Game 3. He allowed an early goal to Cody Glass, but was solid the rest of the way for Spokane, allowing just three goals on 30 shots. Chiefs Head Coach Dan Lambert went back to Brkin in Game 3 despite the rookie goaltender being pulled in Game 2, but it looks as though that was the right decision, as Brkin kept his team close all night long.
WINTERHAWKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: Dennis Cholowski has been a force to be reckoned with in the first three games of the series. Cholowski had one goal in 32 games with Portland during the regular season, but the Detroit Red Wings prospect now has three goals in three postseason games. Cholowski was dangerous again in Game 3, jumping into rushes and nearly had himself another two-goal game.
Kieffer Bellows had his third straight two-point night. While Cody Glass had a goal and an assist, and is now on a seven-game point-streak, dating back to the regular season.
The second line of Hughes, Overhardt and Blichfeld combined for Portland’s third goal of the night. It’s the second straight game that the line has gotten on the score-sheet. It’s imperative for that 2nd unit to produce in the postseason for the Hawks to be successful.
Portland had one of their best shutdown defensive periods of the entire season in the third on Wednesday. The Hawks held the Chiefs to just four shots on goal while defending their 3-1 lead. If Portland can continue to play solid defense, and Cole Kehler keeps up his great play in net, the Hawks are going to be hard to beat.
STAT OF THE DAY: Glass is on an 18-game point streak vs. Spokane, putting up 10 goals and 29 points during the streak. The last time he played against the Chiefs and did not record a point was February 10th, 2016.
3/24/18 – Game 1 – Spokane 4 at Portland 3 (OT)
3/25/18 – Game 2 – Spokane 3 at Portland 4
3/28/18 – Game 3 – Portland 3 at Spokane 1
3/29/18 – Game 4 – Portland at Spokane
3/31/18 – Game 5 – Spokane at Portland
4/2/18 – Game 6* – Portland at Spokane
4/3/18 – Game 7* – Spokane at Portland
Game 5 is this Saturday, March 31st at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Make sure to grab your tickets HERE!