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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Everett – Game #69

Ben Ludeman

Portland (41-20-1-4) vs. Everett (45-18-2-3) – 5:00 p.m. – Moda Center, Portland, OR

Listen: http://winterhawks.com/listen

Tickets: http://bit.ly/2FxMvkx

For the tenth and final time this regular season the Hawks and Silvertips will battle it out. Everett sits first in the U.S. Division, but Portland is right on their heels and will look to take the season series with a victory tonight.

PREVIOUS GAME: Winterhawks 2 vs. Americans 7: The Winterhawks inducted Marian Hossa, Brenden Morrow, Andrew Ference and Todd Robinson into the Winterhawks Hall of Fame prior to tonight’s game against the Americans. Portland also honored the entire 1998 Memorial Cup winning team in an incredible pregame ceremony.

The current installment of the Hawks however, could not capitalize on early chances and fell 6-2 to the Americans. Portland outshot Tri-City 13-5 in the first period but were behind 2-0 after 20 minutes. Goals from Michael Rasmussen and Juuso Valimaki gave the Americans the lead.

In the second, the Hawks pulled back within one on a goal from Alex Overhardt. Ryan Hughes fed a saucer pass to Overhardt backdoor, who beat Patrick Dea. For Overhardt, it was his 15th on the season, a new career-high. But Tri-City responded when Isaac Johnson beat Shane Farkas, after a strange deflection fooled everyone but Johnson. The Americans carried a 3-1 lead into the final frame.

Early in the third, Rasmussen buried his second of the game on the powerplay to make it 4-1 Americans. After Tri-City scored another, it was Joachim Blichfeld scoring his 24th of the season on a beautiful pass from Overhardt. Down by three, Portland would pull their goaltender, but to no avail as Riley Sawchuck put home an empty-netter to make it a 6-2 final. The Hawks outshot the Americans 40-29 in the loss.

TODAY’S OPPONENT: The Silvertips enter tonight’s contest with eight wins in their last ten games and winners of four straight. Everett took down Seattle 3-2 last night in Kent. The Silvertips have already clinched home-ice advantage for the first round and with a win against Portland today, can clinch the U.S. Division.

Everett has been playing extremely good hockey on the road as of late. The Silvertips are 9-1-0-1 over their last 11 road games and are currently on an eight-game road streak, which is a franchise record.

Against Portland this season, Patrick Bajkov leads all Silvertips with 12 points in nine games. Meanwhile, Matt Fonteyne has seven goals in nine matchups versus Portland.

In net, as you’d expect, Carter Hart has been extremely good against Portland. The Philadelphia Flyers draft-pick is 3-2-0-0 versus the Winterhawks this season with a 1.79 GAA and a .950 SV%.

WINTERHAWKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: Alex Overhardt is coming off a two-point night last game in the Hawks 6-2 defeat to the Americans. Overhardt has played well versus the Silvertips this season, with six points in nine games.

Both Skyler McKenzie and Kieffer Bellows have seven goals on the year against Everett. McKenzie is sitting on 99 career goals heading into tonight’s game.

Cole Kehler has been solid against the Silvertips this season, posting a 4-3-0-1 record with a 2.77 GAA and a .916 SV%.

STAT OF THE DAY: Skyler McKenzie is looking to become just 24th Winterhawk in franchise history to score 100 career goals and 200 career points as a Hawk.

Here’s how the two teams have played head-to-head this season:

Winterhawks: 4-4-0-1                  Silvertips: 5-4-0-0

This Year’s Season Series:

09/23/17 – Portland 7 @ Everett 4

10/29/17 – Everett 3 @ Portland 2

11/04/17 – Portland 3 @ Everett 1

12/06/17 – Portland 1 @ Everett 4

12/09/17 – Everett 2 @ Portland 1

12/17/17 – Portland 3 @ Everett 8

01/06/18 – Portland 4 @ Everett 3

01/14/18 – Everett 4 @ Portland 3 (SO)

01/31/18 – Everett 0 @ Portland 3

03/11/18 – Everett @ Portland

Portland is back in action this upcoming Friday at the Moda Center as the Winterhawks welcome Seattle to town. It’s also Smash for Cash night, so make sure to grab your tickets HERE!

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