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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Spokane – Game #51

Ben Green

With both teams securing shutout wins on Friday night, the Winterhawks and Chief meet at the VMC for the second match-up of the week. Each team has two head-t0-head wins on the season.

Puck Drop: 6:00 p.m.

Venue: Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Tickets: Portland vs. Spokane

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

Event: Belmont Station Tasting Night for fans 21+

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 3 vs. Giants 0: The Portland Winterhawks responded with a massive 3-0 shutout at home over the Vancouver Giants on Friday night. Shane Farkas made 24 saves to backstop the team’s fifth shutout of the season against the B.C. Division leaders.

After a scoreless first period, Joachim Blichfeld broke through offensively at the midway point of the second period on a spin-o-rama shot from the slot. Defensively, the Hawks were sound through the first two frames seeing as they only allowed 13 shots on net.

Early in the second period, Reece Newkirk intercepted a puck in his defensive end and went coast-to-coast with speed. Newkirk tapped in a give-and-go feed with Blichfeld to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. Portland withstood the pressure late in the game, and Newkirk scored the empty net goal, his second goal of the night, to secure the 3-0 win.

Shane Farkas made 11 saves in the final period of play to lock up the team’s third win against the Giants.

NOTABLES:

  • The shutout was the team’s third shutout win of 2019, fifth overall this season.
  • Joachim Blichfeld scored the first goal of the night and continues to lead the Western Hockey League with 43 tallies. He is four shy of Skyler McKenzie’s team-high 47 from a season ago.
  • Blichfeld became the first player in the WHL to reach 90 points this year, doing so in just 50 games.
  • Reece Newkirk recorded his second multi-goal performance of the season and the first since September 28 in Kennewick, WA. He also became the third Winterhawk to reach 20 goals this year (Blichfeld and Jake Gricius)
  • The two teams took a combined six shots through the first 12 minutes of the game heading into the media timeout.
  • Portland improves to 3-0 against Vancouver this season with the final regular season meeting taking place in British Columbia on Martin Luther King day.

TODAY’S MATCH-UP:

The Spokane Chiefs won two games this week after losing their last five games. Last night, Reece Klassen stopped 25 shots in the shutout win against Kelowna, but he has never faced the Winterhawks so do not be surprised if Bailey Brkin draws the start in net.

Adam Beckman scored twice on Friday night and is second among WHL rookies in goal scoring (21). Riley Woods has exploded for seven points this week alone (1-6–7) and he leads all Chiefs with ten points in four meetings.

Tonight will be the second to last meeting against Spokane (both home games). The Chiefs are looking to pull away from Tri-City for the third place spot in the U.S. Division, but they have struggled on the road with a win percentage below .500.

Winterhawk forward Joachim Blichfeld leads the way with ten points against the Chiefs this year and he is still on pace for over 120 points. Blichfeld has 25 points in his last 15 games. Lane Gilliss has been a producing machine lately, recording 54% of his seasonal points in the last month. Following tonight’s game, the Winterhawks will be on the road until February 10.

Saturday is also the last Belmont Station Tasting Night, where fans 21+ can enjoy free samples of beer and cider on the concourse.

The Hawks are home Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Coliseum with the puck set to drop at 6:00 p.m. It’s a redemption game against the Chiefs, who handed the Hawks their toughest loss of the season. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability for tonight’s game.

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