Tuesday night was a gut check for the Winterhawks, who allowed a season-high seven goals. Portland looks for its third win against Victoria on Wednesday night, which would clinch the head-to-head regular season series.
Puck Drop: 7:05 p.m.
Venue: Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre
Watch: WHL Live
PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 4 at Victoria 7: Tuesday night did not go the Hawks way, as they lost 7-4 in Victoria to end their four game winning streak.
Four minutes into the game, Cross Hanas skated from his own blueline and danced around the Royals’ defense. The Texas native caught Griffen Outhouse looking as he wrapped it around the net for his fourth goal of the season and was recognized as the WHL’s Highlight of the Night. At the midway point of the period, Ryan Hughes put on pressure and intercepted a pass behind the goal line and centered it to Joachim Blichfeld who scored on a one-time shot.
Momentum would shift in the second half of the period. The Royals rattled off five unanswered goals, including two unusual bounces to take a 5-2 lead. Mason Mannek scored a nifty slot goal off a forecheck battle to cut into the Royals lead late in the second period.
Tarun Fizer answered back with a hat trick goal before the end of 40 minutes. Dante Hannoun added his fourth point of the night in the third period to chase Shane Farkas out of the game. Farkas made 27 stops on 34 shots.
Dante Giannuzzi finished the game, denying all three shots he faced in the final 14 minutes. In the third period, Cross Hanas cashed in on his second goal of the game, his first multi-goal effort in the WHL.
After the win on Tuesday night, the Royals improved to 10-5-0-0 at home this season. It was the first game the Hawks played without Cody Glass since attending Canada’s Selection Camp and they are just 1-4-0 this season without Glass out of the lineup.
The speed and physicality of the midweek game was noteworthy. Victoria was playing a run-and-gun style offense with multiple players in on the rush and they were laying hits whenever they could. That led to a fight and a handful of extracurricular activity after the whistle.
Dante Hannoun (2-2–4) and Tarun Fizer (first career hat trick) stole the spotlight against the Hawks. Top line center Hannoun now has five goals in December and has 21 points (6-15–21) in 15 career games against the Hawks. He missed the two games in November due to an injury.
Ten different Victoria players recorded at least one point in Tuesday night’s win. Scott Walford paced the way with a four point night, the second in his WHL career and first four assist night in the league.
Griffen Outhouse continued his stellar play for the Royals this season. In each of his last five games, Outhouse has stopped over 30 shots racking up a .926 save percentage. The 20-year-old goaltender recorded his 99th career WHL win last night.
The Hawks return home Sunday, December 16th against the Tri-City Americans. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.