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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Everett – Game #66

Pat Kempany

As we enter the final week of the regular season, the Portland Winterhawks host two home games against U.S. Division opponents. First on the docket is a battle against the first place Silvertips Tuesday night. The Hawks are 3-5-0-1 on the year against the ‘Tips with two of the three wins coming at home.

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m.

Venue: Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Tickets: Portland vs. Everett

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 2 at Cougars 5: Prince George won the third period on Saturday night, beating the Hawks 5-2. It was the Cougars’ first win against the Winterhawks this season.

The first period of play featured 30 combined saves and four power play opportunities. Joel Hofer was busy making 19 stops though the first 20 minutes.

Both teams broke through offensively in the second period as defensemen Clay Hanus and Austin Crossley exchanged blows within six minutes of each other.

Prince George swung the game in their favor when they scored three unanswered, third period goals to go up 4-1. Portland put a good amount of pressure on Taylor Gauthier late in the game, which resulted in Cross Hanas scoring his first goal since February 2. The Cougars held on and scored an empty net insurance marker to win 5-2.

Prince George won the special teams category in the third period and used a couple of big time saves from Gauthier to fuel their win and end their 13-game losing streak at the CN Centre.

As the Winterhawks enter the final week of the regular season, they prepare for home games on Tuesday night against Everett and Sunday, March 17 against Seattle.

NOTABLES:

  • Clay Hanus scored his seventh goal of the season to give the Hawks an early second period lead. All seven of his goals are on the road.
  • Reece Newkirk got his 33rd assist of the year, third most on the Hawks.
  • Josh Paterson extends his point streak with three straight games with a primary assist on the Cross Hanas goal.
  • Joel Hofer had a busy weekend stopping 84 of 90 shots.
  • Since Joel Hofer stopped over 25 shots, you can take advantage of the Papa John’s 30% discount using the promo code SAVES25 at your locally owned PapaJohns.com all day tomorrow.
  • Prince George’s Josh Maser netted two third period goals to set a new career-high with 30 on the season. It extends his point streak to eight straight games and was his third multi-goal game of the season.
  • Vladislav Mikhalchuk notched a pair of points to end his nine game scoreless stretch.

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TODAY’S MATCH-UP:

Everett heads to Portland as a hot team heading into the final stretch with a 7-2-1 record in its last ten games, but the Winterhawks will have a chance to hand them two straight in-division losses. Both Portland and Everett are coming off a weekend loss as Seattle beat Everett 2-1 on Saturday. A fun fact, Seattle is now 3-0-1-0 in its last four games against the U.S. Division Regular Season Champions.

Tonight, Portland seeks its third straight 40-win season. It is the final head-to-head meeting against Everett during the regular season and the Hawks need a strong result sitting just a game and a half ahead of Spokane in the standings. The first round WHL playoff match-up is already confirmed between Spokane and Portland, but the two teams are still in a race for home ice advantage.

Everett Captain Connor Dewar is riding a six-game point streak into the game and he recently inked his first professional contract, signing a three-year, entry level deal with Minnesota one week ago on March 5. He has 194 career points in the WHL and is two goals away from 100. The Silvertips offensive production has been ‘by committee’ this year, but their bread and butter is on the defensive side. They held their opponents to two or fewer goals in five straight and 16 of their last 19 games dating back to the January Sunset Game at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Five-time WHL Goaltender of the Week Dustin Wolf leads the league in wins (41), goals against average (1.68), save percentage (.936) and is second in shutouts (7).

Josh Paterson could be one to watch on the Winterhawks. With the absence of Cody Glass and a few others to injury, Paterson has five points in his last three games and is a point-per-game player in limited action against the Silvertips this year.

Following tonight’s game, the Hawks will play a home-and-home series on Saturday and Sunday against Seattle. Both games will be televised on Portland’s CW and Sunday’s home game will start at 5:00 p.m. to conclude the 68 game schedule. Please visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.

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