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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Spokane – Game #61

Ben Ludeman

The Winterhawks wrap up their regular season schedule against the Spokane Chiefs tonight. As we say hello to March, it’s important to note that both teams have already locked up their spot in the WHL playoffs.

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m.

Venue: Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Tickets: Portland vs. Spokane

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

EVENT: Tonight is the Jack in the Box Smash for Cash promotion! Be sure to stick in your seats during the first and second intermissions to watch the men and women bounce and compete for $1,000 cash. The men’s semifinal round will take place after the first period of play and both the men’s and women’s eight-contestant final will occur after the second period.

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 4 at Thunderbirds 3 – Shootout: The Hawks completed arguably its best comeback of the season, scoring three unanswered goals and one more in the shootout to beat Seattle 4-3 on the road. It was certainly a tale of two stories from the ShoWare Center on Saturday night.

Seattle jumped out to a hot start, scoring three goals in the first half of the first period and taking a 3-0 lead with them into the intermission. The goals chased Joel Hofer from the game after 9:42 of work, facing seven shots.

The Winterhawks returned the favor and stole the show in the second period, scoring twice in the opening minutes to bring the game back to a manageable one-goal deficit. Clay Hanus and Lane Gilliss scored within 27 seconds of one another to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes.

Jared Freadrich scored the lone third period goal to tie the game at 3-3 and extend his point streak to five straight. The game went to overtime and the Hawks had two breakaway chances to win the game, but ultimately, it was decided in a shootout.

Through three rounds of a shootout, Seth Jarvis was the lone skater to score and Shane Farkas was perfect in a relief appearance. Farkas stopped all 22 shots he faced plus the three shootout attempts to earn his 29th win of the year. Farkas was named the second star of the game.

NOTABLES:

  • Clay Hanus scored his sixth goal of the season, third against Seattle at the ShoWare Center specifically.
  • Jared Freadrich ties his career high with 12 goals. His third period goal was the tying marker tonight.
  • The win marks seven straight victories against the Thunderbirds.

TODAY’S MATCH-UP:

Portland has won the previous two meetings against Spokane at home, beating them 8-2 in December and most recently a 6-5 shootout win in early February. Tonight, it’s another clash of No.2 versus No.3 in the U.S. Division.

Spokane is coming off a couple mid-week wins in Pringe George, including a 7-1 womping on Wednesday. Co-captain Jaret Anderson-Dolan notched his second career five point performance (2G-3A) in the win. The Chiefs are a dangerous offensive team, especially with the amount of production they get throughout their lineup. Ten players on Spokane have more than 30 points this season, that’s the most of any team in the Western Conference.

Forward Eli Zummack just had his 14-game point streak (3G-17A) snap that dated back to January 5. Eight Chiefs enter the game with two or more goals against the Winterhawks, with defenseman Nolan Reid leading the charge with four goals.

Spokane is currently in the midst of a race for the final playoff spot in the U.S. Division with Tri-City. One will slide into the wild card seed. Following tonight, the Chiefs head to Kennewick for another meeting with the Americans. Three of their last eight games are against Tri-City and each game will have serious playoff implications.

Portland will travel to British Columbia for a pair of games against the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday and Sunday, then the team will make its way north to Prince George. The Hawks next home game is Tuesday, March 12 against the Everett Silvertips at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Please visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.

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