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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Medicine Hat

Ben Ludeman

The Winterhawks wrap up their three-in-three weekend with a tilt against the Medicine Hat Tigers, who have already secured three of four possible points this weekend. Portland has six straight wins against Medicine Hat dating back to October 2011.

Puck Drop: 5:00 p.m.

Venue: Moda Center

Tickets: Portland vs. Medicine Hat

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 0 at Silvertips 5: The Hawks fell short in the special teams department tonight and the Everett Silvertips went on to shutout the Hawks 5-0 at home. With their win and the Kamloops loss, the Silvertips officially punched their ticket to the postseason.

It was a phenomenal defensive first period where the goaltenders combined for 32 saves, but Everett scored four goals in the middle period, three of which came from special teams play.

Jake Christiansen capped the night off with his first career Western Hockey League hat trick and Dustin Wolf stopped 29 shots to earn his WHL-leading sixth shutout of the season, first against the Hawks.

A quick reminder for fans attending the home game on Sunday at the Moda Center; as of Saturday night, the game is still scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. puck drop against the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Hockey Challenge Day has been rescheduled to Sunday, February 17th against Seattle at the Moda Center. Please visit winterhawks.com/hockeychallenge for more information coming soon.

NOTABLES:

  • Joel Hofer finished with 48 saves, the most with the Winterhawks. Thanks to his high save totals, you can save 30% off your regular menu price at Portland area Papa Johns all day Sunday. Place your order online at papajohns.com and use the promo code SAVES25
  • Brice Kindopp scored a shorthanded goal in the second period, giving him 30 goals this season and becoming the third member of the Silvertips with 30+ goals (Joining Connor Dewar and Zack Andrusiak). He now has 12 points (7G-5A) in his last five games.
  • Dustin Wolf improves to 6-3-0 this season against Portland

TODAY’S MATCH-UP:

The Central Division opponent is coming off a 1-0 shutout win against Everett and an overtime loss in Seattle. Former first round WHL pick and Tigers’ leading scorer James Hamblin has performed well with points in four straight games (3-4–7).

Ryan Jevne follows suit with a four game point streak of his own (3-7–10) and Brett Kemp is starting to find his groove after being acquired from the Edmonton Oil Kings. Kemp is a potential NHL Draft pick who is the 156th ranked skater on the Central Scouting List.

Outside of their top six forwards, Medicine Hat has struggled to find some depth scoring, but they are a very quick team. Former WHL Champion Elijah Brown (with Seattle) is a familiar face in the U.S. Division and he has amassed career highs with ten goals and 23 points this year through 39 games. He has five career points against the Hawks.

This year’s first round CHL Import pick Mads Sogaard from Denmark is one of the best goaltenders in North America eligible for the NHL Draft. The 6-foot-7 goaltender played in the CHL Top Prospects game and made 17 saves on 18 shots in half the game. He has two shutouts in his last three starts coming off a 41 save performance in Everett on Friday night.

His .933 save percentage is tied for first in the Western Hockey League (minimum 350 minutes) and he has not allowed more than three goals in his last 15 starts.

Every game carries more weight for Tigers who sit at second place in the Central Division, but just seven points separates first from fifth in the standings. Even though Portland has six straight wins against the Tigers, Medicine Hat is playing well in 2019 with points in 9 of their last 11 games so it should make for an exciting finale to the weekend.

Another reminder that the inaugural Hockey Challenge Day has been rescheduled to February 17th. Keep an eye on winterhawks.com/hockeychallenge for more information about the event and be sure to visit¬†winterhawks.com/tickets¬†for full details on pricing and availability for Sunday’s game.

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