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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Spokane – Game #27

Ben Ludeman

The Winterhawks look to rebound against Spokane on Saturday night in their annual Teddy Bear Toss game. The VMC doors open early at 4:30 p.m. tonight.

Puck Drop: 6:00 p.m.

Venue: Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Tickets: Portland vs. Spokane

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 1 vs. Silvertips 4: The Winterhawks jump out to a first period lead, but are unable to maintain it throughout the night. The Hawks fall to the Silvertips 4-1 in Washington.

The Hawks got off to a strong start on the road against the division leader. Heading into the media timeout, Portland was out-shooting Everett 7-to-2. Moments later, Cross Hanas made it a 1-0 lead for the Winterhawks. Clay Hanus blocked a shot in his defensive end and sprung it to Hanas on the opposite blue line. The WHL rookie came in untouched and was able to finish the play with a short-side wrist shot.

The Silvertips charged back in the second period, scoring two goals in a 47 second span. Wyatte Wylie found Reece Vitelli up ice to tie the game at one apiece and then Connor Dewar, on the ensuing shift, floated a puck to Sean Richards who beat Shane Farkas on a backhander.

Everett continued its run in the third period. Martin Fasko-Rudas scored his third goal against the Hawks in as many days and Dewar put the puck in the empty net with a minute to go to seal the victory.

Portland penalty kill went 4-for-4 tonight and Shane Farkas turned aside 37 shots, the second saves he has made this season.

TODAY’S OPPONENT:

Portland and Spokane are separated by just one game in the U.S. Division standings, and they face each other for the third time tonight. Both teams have one win in their head-to-head meetings, and Saturday will be their first meeting in Portland.

The Hawks won a high scoring game last month in Spokane, coming from behind to win 8-6 in northern Washington. The Hawks erased a 5-3 deficit on the road in early November. A handful of players had multi-point performance in the game, including forwards Joachim Blichfeld (2-3–5), Jared Freadrich (0-4–4), Reece Newkirk (1-2–3), Jake Gricius (2-0–2) and Ryan Hughes (1-1–2). Forward Riley Woods (2-2–4) paced the way with four points against the Hawks in the last meeting. Woods has seven points in his last four games.

Spokane enters the night on a four game point streak. The Chiefs lost in overtime to the Silvertips on Friday night, but the offense was not lacking. Spokane has found productivity from a handful of its key players and will look to strengthen the gap between them and Portland on Saturday. Nine players have at least 15 points for the Chiefs. To put that into perspective, only six Hawks have reached that mark this year.

Luc Smith recorded his first multi-point effort since he was acquired from Kamloops a week ago. In net, the Chiefs have continued to split the workload between 19 year olds Dawson Weatherill and Bailey Brkin, though Brkin has been posted the better numbers of the two.

It is the first time the Chiefs have taken part in Portland’s Teddy Bear Toss. The Hawks are 15-4-1 in Teddy Bear Toss games they host. Learn more details about tonight’s game by clicking here.

Portland returns home on Saturday, December 1st against Spokane for the annual Les Schwab Teddy Bear Toss. Tickets are nearly sold out. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.

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