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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland at Spokane – First Round, Game #6 – POR leads 3-2

Larry Brunt

Portland at Spokane – First Round, Game #6 – POR leads 3-2 – 7:00 p.m. – Spokane Arena

Listen: http://winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: whllive.com

The Hawks head to Spokane tonight to battle it out with the Chiefs in Game 6 of their first-round series. Portland has won the only two games played in Spokane so far this series.

PREVIOUS GAME: Kailer Yamamoto scored 9:19 into the overtime frame to lead Spokane to a 5-4 win over Portland in Game 5 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Portland now leads the series 3-2.

Portland got on the board first in the opening period, with Mason Mannek scoring his second of the postseason 9:20 in. Spokane’s Riley Woods would tie things at one just over three minutes later. But the Hawks would retake the lead late in the period, with Skyler McKenzie finding Cody Glass on the rush, who then beat Dawson Weatherill over the right shoulder. Portland would carry the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

In the second, Hudson Elynuik beat Cole Kehler to tie things at two. But 19 seconds later, Ryan Hughes squeaked one by Weatherill to give the Hawks a one-goal lead once again.

Jake McGrew would tie things for Spokane in the third, knocking home a rebound at the side of the goal to make it 3-3. It would remain that way until there was 6:27 left in the third period, when Dennis Cholowski beat Weatherill up high to give Portland the late lead. The Chiefs would pull their netminder, and with 31 seconds remaining, a Nolan Reid shot from the blueline went off Alex Overhardt and past Kehler. The two teams would head to overtime for the second time this series.

In the extra-frame, it was Kailer Yamamoto playing hero, firing one shelf on Kehler just before the 10:00 minute mark, to give Spokane the win. With the Chiefs victory, the series is now 3-2 Portland.

TODAY’S OPPONENT: Nolan Reid scored his second goal of the series with just 30.7 seconds remaining in regulation in Game 5 on Saturday to send the game to overtime. In the extra-frame, Kailer Yamamoto scored his first goal of the series to give the Chiefs the win.

For Yamamoto, it was a weight lifted off his shoulders. The Edmonton Oilers first-round pick has had chances all series long, but had yet to find the back of the net. Yamamoto had recorded just two assists in the series prior to Game 5, this after putting up 52 points in just 27 games during the regular season since January 1st.

Jake McGrew had two points in the Chiefs win. McGrew set up Riley Woods for the Chiefs first goal of the game on the powerplay, then picked up his own goal in the third period off a rebound. McGrew had also been held scoreless up until Game 5. The San Jose Sharks draft pick had 19 goals during the regular season.

While Dawson Weatherill wasn’t brilliant for the full 60 minutes of Game 5, he was certainly great during the games final five minutes. With the Chiefs down by one, the 18-year old goaltender made several fantastic saves on Connor Barley and Cody Glass in the final stages of the third period to keep his team within one. On the night, Weatherill made 40 saves on 44 Winterhawks shots.

WINTERHAWKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: Dennis Cholowski recorded his fourth goal of the series in the third period of Game 5. The Detroit Red Wings first-round pick has been exceptional all series long, and currently leads all Hawks players in goals.

Cody Glass had a two-point effort in Game 5, including a goal. Glass now has eight points in five games this postseason, tying Kieffer Bellows for the team scoring lead. Glass extended his point streak against Spokane to 20 games, during that span the Vegas Golden Knights first-round pick has 11 goals and 21 assists.

Joachim Blichfeld had an assist in Game 5, extending his postseason point streak to four games. Dating back to last year, Blichfeld has 16 points in 16 WHL playoff games, and has been held off the scoresheet in just four of those games.

STAT OF THE DAY: Alex Overhardt is averaging a point-per-game against the Chiefs this season. Including postseason, Overhardt has 12 points in 12 games, recording four goals and eight assists and is a plus five.

Series Schedule:

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 4 at Spokane 3

3/31/18 – Game 5 – Spokane 5 at Portland 4 (OT)

4/2/18 – Game 6 – Portland at Spokane

4/3/18 – Game 7* – Spokane at Portland

*if necessary

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