The Winterhawks begin their second consecutive three-in-three weekend at home tonight against Red Deer. Portland has won the last two head-to-head meetings against the Rebels and their magic number for clinching a playoff spot is down to 4.
With a Winterhawks win of any kind tonight and a Kamloops loss in regulation, the Hawks can punch their ticket to the postseason.
Puck Drop: 6:00 p.m.
Venue: Moda Center
Tickets: Portland vs. Red Deer
Watch: WHL Live
Event: The annual Mascot Night is tonight! During the second period intermission, the mascots will play the Portland Jr. Winterhawks in a condensed game. So be sure to stay in your seats between the second and third period for some extra fun thanks to your friends at Banner Bank.
PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 1 vs Tigers 2: The goaltenders stole the show on Sunday night as Medicine Hat beat Portland 2-1 after a five round shootout. The win ends the Tigers six-game losing skid against the Hawks dating back to 2011.
Portland was opportunistic in the first period as Joachim Blichfeld added yet another goal to his season total on an offensive zone face-off win. The Hawks had their chances in the opening period with a Seth Jarvis breakaway and a couple of hit posts.
With a 1-0 game heading into the third period, the Tigers finally broke loose on a shorthanded goal from 20 year old Ryan Jevne to tie the game. The Winterhawks controlled nearly all of the overtime period with offensive zone pressure, but Mads Sogaard turned aside all four overtime shots he faced.
In the shootout round, Sogaard stopped all five Portland shooters and Shane Farkas made four of five stops, but Ryan Chyzowski slipped in the lone goal giving the Tigers the win.
- The goaltenders claimed the top two stars of the night. Farkas’ 38 saves were his second highest total of the season.
- Joachim Blichfeld’s goal was his third in the month of February.
- Josh Paterson had the primary assist on Blichfeld’s first period goal, giving him ten points (6G-4A) in 14 games with the Hawks.
- Jared Freadrich skated in his 250th career regular season game in the WHL tonight.
- Medicine Hat improves to 4-0-1-0 against U.S. Division opponents this season.
- The Hawks have back-to-back home games at the Moda Center on Saturday and Sunday night and they will travel to Vancouver afterwards for a Monday afternoon game.
Sitting in the middle of the Eastern Conference, the Rebels are in the back end of their trip through the U.S. Division. They are 1-1-1 on the swing with their lone win coming against Everett on Valentine’s Day. Snow has not been the Rebels best friend as their midweek game had to be postponed an extra 24 hours in Everett due to road closures.
The Rebels are looking to end their two-game losing skid against the Hawks and they will have to rely on shutting down the Hawks’ attack. There is no denying Brandon Hagel has been the star of the season for the Alberta based team. Hagel leads the way with 82 point on his team (4th in the WHL) and he signed a contract with the Chicago Blackhawks after a hot start in October. He has 39 more points than his next closest teammate, which is almost unheard of.
Jeff de Wit skated in his 300th career regular season game last night in Seattle and is in the midst of a career year with 24 goals. Point-per-game defenseman Alexander Alexeyev looks strong once again in his third WHL season. The former first round pick of the Washington Capitals spent his winter playing in Victoria with the Russian National Junior Team.
Head Coach and General Manager Brent Sutter is four wins shy of 500 in his WHL career, joining elite company in the league.
Tickets for tonight’s Mascot Night game against Red Deer are limited. Please visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability. Also, Sunday is the inaugural Hockey Challenge Day. Head to winterhawks.com/hockeychallenge for more information about the event.