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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Seattle – Game #57

Ben Green

After an impressive 2-0 win last night, the Hawks return to the Moda Center for another tilt against the Thunderbirds. Portland can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win of any kind tonight.

Puck Drop: 4:00 p.m.

Venue: Moda Center

Tickets: Portland vs. Seattle

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live or Portland’s CW

Event: The inaugural Hockey Challenge Day presented by Budweiser is tonight! Be sure to stick around after the game and watch the All-Star game with a handful of former Winterhawk players. The entire event is built to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 2 vs. Rebels 0: The Portland Winterhawks collected their sixth shutout of the season, beating the Red Deer Rebels 2-0 in front of a nearly sold out Moda Center crowd.

Both teams traded chances through 40 minutes of play, but the Hawks broke through in third period. Seth Jarvis moved a puck to Jared Freadrich for a point shot 41 seconds in to the final frame to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.

Joel Hofer locked things down for his third shutout of the year, stopping all 25 shots he faced in the win. Cody Glass returned to the lineup after an eight game absence and netted the empty net goal to secure the 2-0 win, his 14th goal of the season.

NOTABLES:

  • Joel Hofer improves to 6-4-0 with two shutouts with Portland, a .917 save percentage and a 2.83 goals against average.
  • Jared Freadrich recorded a two-point game (G-A) for his 23rd multi-point game in the WHL. He already set a career high with 37 points this season and is two goals away from tying the 12 he put up last year in Victoria.
  • The mascots were out in full force tonight to enjoy the 9,487 fans, though the Portland Jr. Winterhawks beat the mascots 3-1 during the intermission game.
  • Sunday is a Battle with Seattle, the inaugural Hockey Challenge Day and Wawanesa Insurance Night. The game starts at 4:00 p.m.

TODAY’S MATCH-UP:

The Seattle Thunderbirds enter the night coming off back-to-back home wins against Red Deer and Everett and find themselves in the first Wild Card position in the West.

Last night, Roddy Ross stunted the Silvertips with 46 saves on 47 shots in the 4-1 win. Seattle scored four unanswered goals from four different players. Matthew Wedman led the way with three points (2G-A) and enters the game with a team-high 62 points on the year. Henrik Rybinski (2A) and Andrej Kukuca (G-A, 7 shots) each had a pair of points and Rybinski has five points this weekend already coupled with his three point effort against Red Deer.

Seattle’s power play has done well with three power play goals this weekend to help ignite their offense. Special teams play is, of course, an area of focus for the Hawks in February.

A promising note, captain Nolan Volcan returned to the lineup on Friday after missing the previous nine games with an upper body injury. Volcan and Glass have now both returned to the lineup after they suffered injuries in the same game in late January. Cole Schwebius manned the crease for the last two meetings against the Hawks, but Roddy Ross has been their leader with ten wins and a .914 save percentage.

The puck drops tonight at 4:00 p.m. with the Hockey Challenge All-Star Game to follow. Please visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.

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