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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Kelowna – Game #19

Keith Dwiggins

The Hawks close the weekend with a home game against Kelowna and seek their fifth straight win of the season.

Puck Drop: 5:00 p.m.

Venue: Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Tickets: Portland vs. Kelowna

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 3 vs. Rockets 0: Portland opened the weekend on a high note, shutting out the Kelowna Rockets 3-0 on Saturday night. Shane Farkas stopped all 26 shots en route to his first shutout performance of the season.

Returning home for a pair of weekend games against the Rockets, the Hawks jumped out to an early lead. Just over three minutes into the game, Joachim Blichfeld received a headman pass on the right wing and charged into the offensive zone. He drove in a wrist shot at the top of the right circle for his team-leading 15th of the season. The Hawks rattled off 22 shots in the first period and took a 1-0 lead into the locker room for the first break.

Portland was able to increase its lead in the second period. Thirteen seconds after a Portland power play expired, Cody Glass banked in the team’s second goal of the night to find a favorable home lead at the midway point of regulation time. Shane Farkas closed the second period on a high note, making a couple of flashy pad stops in the final two minutes of the frame to keep it a 2-0 game heading into the second break of the night.

The Hawks had one more in them before the night ended. Reece Newkirk tapped in his 11th of the season on a slot feed from Blichfeld. Blichfeld finished the night with points on all three Winterhawks’ goals. Shane Farkas 26-save effort earned him the honor as the first star of the game.

TODAY’S OPPONENT:

Last night’s loss was only the team’s second loss in its last eight games, ending a four game winning streak. Saturday night was the second time Kelowna was shutout this season. They were out shot 50 to 26 at the Moda Center on Saturday.

Tonight is the team’s third straight game this weekend and the Rockets are looking to rebound after a difficult night offensively. Goaltender James Porter stopped a season-high 47 shots in the loss and had limited support in front of him. The loss comes as one of Head Coach Adam Foote’s toughest games to date as his Rockets struggled to slow down a quick Portland team.

Roman Basran is expected to see time in net to close the weekend. Basran is one of six WHL goaltending prospects to make the NHL Central Scouting Watch List. The Vancouver native stopped 32 of 33 shots in a win against Seattle on Friday. Basran has stopped 30 or more shots five times during the regular season and is 4-1-0-0 in his last five road starts.

Leif Mattson led all Kelowna skaters with five shots on goal. Leading point producers Lassi Thomson, Nolan Foote and Kyle Topping combined for six chances. The Hawks have now won four of their last five meetings against the Rockets.

Kelowna will have to keep an eye on Joachim Blichfeld and his line to find success. Blichfeld has seven goals and seven assists in nine career games against the team from British Columbia. His two point night last night marked his fourth consecutive multi-point performance of the season.

The Hawks are at home, November 11th against the Kelowna Rockets. Individual tickets are now on sale. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.

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