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Winterhawks Game Day Preview – Portland at Tri-City – Game #52

Kendra Frankle

The Winterhawks begin their busy week against the Tri-City Americans on the road Tuesday night. It’s the first of three straight road games against U.S. Division opponents. Portland won the last head-to-head meeting against Tri-City 4-2 a few weeks ago.

Puck Drop: 7:05 p.m.

Venue: Toyota Center

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 6 vs. Chiefs 5 – Shootout: Portland enjoyed its 20th home victory of the season on Saturday night, beating the Spokane Chiefs 6-5 in the shootout. The win marks the Hawks’ first shootout victory of the year.

Eleven different Winterhawks registered at least one point through 65 minutes of hockey, with rookie Cross Hanas leading the way as the first star of the game for his three point night (G-2A), his first three point game in the WHL.

The game featured three tie scores throughout the night, but the Winterhawks persevered in front of an electric crowd of nearly 6,000 fans. Up 5-3 in the third period, Spokane battled back to tie the game and force overtime. Both teams exchanged chances in the high-tempo overtime period, but the game was ultimately decided in a shootout.

Portland scored twice in the three-round shootout, thanks to Reece Newkirk and Jake Gricius, to beat Spokane.

NOTABLES:

  • Eleven different Winterhawks were represented on the stat sheet.
  • Lane Gilliss scored the team’s first goal of the night 1:14 after Spokane took the lead. It was his third goal in the last two weeks.
  • Haydn Delorme finished with two assists, the first multi-point effort of his WHL career.
  • Cross Hanas finished with a goal and two assists, including the go-ahead marker in the second period on the power play. It was his third multi-point game in his WHL career and first ever three-point outing.
  • Spokane’s Adam Beckman had a goal and two assists as well, the second time he’s recorded a trio of points in a night during his WHL career. He sits second in the WHL in rookie goal scoring with 22.
  • Spokane’s defenseman Nolan Reid scored twice tonight for his second multi-goal performance of the season. Four of Spokane’s five goals came from defensemen.
  • John Ludvig scored his third goal of the season and finished as a +3 skater, giving him a Western Conference best +32 rating through 46 games. He was recently named on the NHL’s Midterm Central Scouting List.
  • Joel Hofer turned aside five overtime shots and denied two of three shootout attempts to earn his 11th win of the season.
  • Reece Klassen relieved starting goaltender Bailey Brkin after two periods of play, and suffered the loss.

TODAY’S MATCH-UP:

The Tri-City Americans will host the last two regular season meetings against the Winterhawks and they have won five of six head-to-head meetings so far.

Offensive numbers have slid for the Americans seeing as they have not scored more than three goals in any of their last eight games. During that same stretch of games, Beck Warm has stopped 39+ shots in half of the match-ups, but the team has played .500 hockey trading wins on almost a nightly basis.

Kyle Olson is second on the team in points and has continued to produce with points in six of his last seven games. He also leads the way with eight points against the Hawks this year. Portland needs to find a way to minimize the Americans’ top six forwards because they have done the majority of the damage this season. Their captain Nolan Yaremko is on a slide with no goals and just four assists in his last five games.

Both teams are very good at holding late leads and have combined to win 35 of 38 of those games with a lead after 40 minutes (35-1-1-1).

Following tonight’s match-up, the two teams conclude their regular season meeting on February 22. In the next month, the Americans will be focusing on trying to catch the Spokane Chiefs who are just a game and a half better because the Americans currently hold the first Wild Card spot in the West.

After three road games this week, the Hawks return home on Sunday, February 10 for a game against the Medicine Hat Tigers at 5:00 p.m. inside the Moda Center. It’s also the first annual Hockey Challenge Day presented by Budweiser. The event is dedicated to raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Learn more about the event at winterhawks.com/hockeychallenge and be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability for Sunday’s game.

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