Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Everett– Second Round, Game #4 – Everett leads 2-1

Ben Ludeman

Portland vs. Everett– Second Round, Game #4 – Everett leads 2-1 – 7:00 p.m. – Moda Center




The Winterhawks will look to tie up their best-of-seven series with the Silvertips tonight in Portland at the Moda Center. Everett took Game 3 on Tuesday at the VMC, scoring three times in the opening ten minutes. Portland has been solid all year long at the Moda Center, going 12-2-0-2 during the regular season.

PREVIOUS GAME: The Silvertips scored three times in the opening ten minutes of Game 3 and never looked back, eventually taking down the Winterhawks 6-2 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday. With the loss, the Silvertips now take a 2-1 series lead over Portland.

Everett got on the board first, with Silvertips forward Riley Sutter potting his third goal of the postseason 4:35 into the first period to make it 1-0 Everett early. Just over three minutes later, Bryce Kindopp tipped beat Winterhawks netminder Cole Kehler to give Everett an early two-goal advantage. The Silvertips continued to press, with Sutter tipping home his second of the game just prior to the midway point of the period to make it 3-0 Silvertips. But the Hawks would cut the deficit late, when Dennis Cholowski scored on a beautiful wraparound goal with under five minutes remaining in the period. For Cholowski, it was his fifth goal of the playoffs.

In the second, the Hawks continued their comeback attempt. Kieffer Bellows fired a shot from the blueline on a Hawks powerplay that Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart got a piece of, but had trickle behind him past the goal line to make it a one-goal game. But just 38-seconds after Portland got within one, the Silvertips retook a two-goal lead on a marker from Reece Vitelli.

In the third, the Silvertips would score their fifth of the game on a goal from Martin Fasko-Rudas 7:06 into the period. Portland would pull Kehler late in regulation for the extra-attacker, but Everett would bury an empty-net goal to eventually make it a 6-2 final.

With the victory, the Silvertips take a 2-1 series lead in the second-round best-of-seven WHL series.

TODAY’S OPPONENT: The Silvertips scored three goals in the opening ten minutes of Game 3 and never relinquished the lead. Riley Sutter had a big game for Everett, scoring two of his team’s first three goals. Sutter, who is in his first year of eligibility for the NHL draft in June, is coming off a solid 25 goal and 53 point regular season, and now has four goals in seven postseason games.

While it was the big names (Bajkov, Pilon etc.) scoring for Everett in Game 2, it was depth scoring that put the Silvertips over the top in Game 3. The third line of Bryce Kindopp, Reece Vitelli and Martin Fasko-Rudas all had goals in the win. For Portland, if this third-unit continues to produce, it will make their job of shutting down the Silvertips offense even more difficult.

After allowing five goals on 36 shots in Game 1, it appears Carter Hart is back to his normal dominant self. Since the opening game of the series, Hart has allowed just two goals on 68 shots. In Game 3, Portland controlled most of the second period, outshooting Everett 14-9, but were only able to beat Hart once, in perhaps his best stretch of play in the series. And while Portland did throw 42 shots on goal in Game 3, many of those Hart saw cleanly. For Portland, they must produce net-front traffic and obscure the sightlines of Hart if they want to beat the Philadelphia Flyers draft-pick on a regular-basis.

WINTERHAWKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: Dennis Cholowski continued his stellar postseason for Portland on Tuesday. The Detroit Red Wings defenseman scored his fifth goal of the playoffs on a gorgeous wrap-around goal in the first period. Cholowski is first on the Hawks in goals these playoffs and first in the WHL among defenseman.

Kieffer Bellows picked up his third goal of the postseason on Tuesday and 12th point, tying him with Cody Glass for the team lead. Bellows fired a shot from the blueline on the Hawks powerplay that slid past goaltender Carter Hart. It was Portland first powerplay goal of the series.

Winterhawks fans will be hoping Cody Glass can carry over his recent success at the Moda Center to Thursday’s Game 4. In Glass’ final three games of the regular season at the Moda Center, he recorded eight points in three games, including a three goal and five-point performance on March 16th against Seattle.

STAT OF THE DAY: Since the beginning of the 2013 WHL Playoffs, Portland is 15-7 in the Moda Center during the postseason.

Series Schedule:

4/6/18 – Game 1 – Portland 5 at Everett 2

4/7/18 – Game 2 – Portland 0 at Everett 6

4/10/18 – Game 3 – Everett 6 at Portland 2

4/12/18 – Game 4 – Everett at Portland

*4/13/18 – Game 5 – Portland at Everett

*4/15/18 – Game 6 – Everett at Portland

*4/17/18 – Game 7 – Portland at Everett

*If necessary

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