With back-to-back wins to begin the weekend, Portland seeks its first three game weekend sweep of the season. After tonight, the Winterhawks will have played one quarter of their regular season schedule.
Puck Drop: 5:05 p.m.
Venue: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
Watch: WHL Live
PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 2 vs. Royals 1: The Winterhawks win their second straight game this weekend to improve to 9-6-0-1 on the year.
Saturday night had an up-tempo feel in the first period. The teams combined for 26 shots on goal and carried a tie game into the first intermission break. The Hawks hit bar twice in the first period and found a way to open the offense in the second.
Just over two minutes into the middle frame, Portland was sprung on a two-on-one rush with Cody Glass and Cross Hanas. The WHL rookie tapped in his second goal of the season to put the Hawks on the board. At the midway point of the period, forward Joachim Blichfeld scored on the power play to increase the Winterhawks’ lead to 2-0.
Shane Farkas made some tremendous stops in the second half of the frame to keep the Royals off the scoreboard through 40 minutes of play.
The Royals finally found a way to put the puck in the back of the net with a seeing eye shot from the blue-line to cut into the Hawks lead. The Royals and Hawks went back and forth for the final minutes. Despite having an extra attacker for over three minutes, Victoria was unable to tie the game.
Farkas finished with his best statistical performance of the year, stopping 34 of 35 shots in the 2-1 victory.
The make up of Sunday evening’s game will be different than the previous meeting at Spokane Arena. Due to the CIBC Canada Russia series, the Hawks will be without captain Cody Glass and the Chiefs will not have the services of defenseman Ty Smith or forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan.
Spokane won the last head-to-head meeting in 4-1 fashion a week ago. Nolan Reid stole the spotlight with a three point performance, which was only the second time he had done so in his WHL career. Bailey Brkin was locked down in net against the Hawks last Friday, but he struggled mightily in his start against Everett last night and was pulled 16 minutes into the game. The Chiefs lost 6-2 at home last night against the Silvertips and they allowed Everett to pounce to a 5-0 lead in the first half of the game.
It is noteworthy to mention the fact that Spokane allowed three power play goals last night on seven chances against and things don’t get any easier for them as they face a Winterhawks team that scores at a 28 percent clip on the man advantage.
Forward Cordel Larson scored his first career WHL goal and point last night on the power play. Since some of the top-end talent will be missing on Sunday, both sides will be adjusting their line charts and looking to remain successful in the U.S. Division. The Chiefs have the luxury of facing a Hawks team that is playing its third straight game of the weekend, while they have only had one home game over the same stretch of time.
The Hawks hit the road to play the Spokane Chiefs Sunday night and will return home for Military Salute on November 10th against the Kelowna Rockets. Individual tickets are now on sale. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.