The Winterhawks have won eight of their last ten games as they host the Americans for the final time this regular season tonight at the VMC.
Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Tickets: Portland vs. Tri-City
Watch: WHL Live
PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 2 vs. Americans 3: The Portland Winterhawks pushed late in the third period in an attempt to force overtime, but the Tri-City Americans held on to a 3-2 win at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The Hawks fought hard on Sunday night and they heavily out-shot the Americans 47-18, including hitting the post three times throughout the night.
Joachim Blichfeld scored his Western Hockey League leading 40th goal of the year late in the third period to give the Hawks an opportunity to come back, but rookie netminder Talyn Boyko stole the show, collecting his second WHL victory.
The Winterhawks have a chance for redemption Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. in their final home game against the Americans this season. Tri-City improved to 5-0-0-0 this season against Portland.
LAST GAME NOTABLES:
- Winterhawks forward Josh Paterson skated in his 250th career regular season game in the WHL and his fourth with the Hawks. He has four points in four games with his new team.
- Kyle Olson scored twice in the first period to give the Americans a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission. It was his third multi-point performance in January.
- Tri-City defenseman Aaron Hyman collected a pair of assists and has points in four straight games against the Winterhawks.
- Cross Hanas scored his sixth goal of the season to cut the Americans’ lead in half. It was his first goal since December 11th when he scored two in Victoria.
- Joachim Blichfeld netted his 40th goal of the season and is now three points away from 200 in his WHL career.
- Goaltender Talyn Boyko made his 4th start of his WHL career and stopped a career-high 45 shots in the win.
The Winterhawks will look to beat the Americans for the first time this season during the midweek game. Portland does have points in four out of the previous five games against Tri-City and the team is seeking its first win against the Kennewick, Washington-based team since March 3 when they shut them out 5-0.
Anaheim Ducks draft pick Kyle Olson stole the show on Sunday and he will have a chance to set a new career high in goals by the end of the season. Due to the CHL Top Prospects game tonight, the Americans will be without forward Sasha Mutala, who has averaged a point-per-game against the Winterhawks this season.
With the NHL January Central Scouting List coming out, a couple of Americans and Winterhawks were found on the mid-season rankings. Tri-City’s Mutala was ranked as the 81st North American skater. Defenseman Mitchell Brown and forward Krystof Hrabik were also named on the list from the Americans side. The Winterhawks saw Reece Newkirk as the 66th rated North American skater on the list (projected 3rd-4th round selection) with John Ludvig also cracking the top 150.
Last Sunday against Tri-City, the Hawks took 47 shots on goal. That was their largest total at home since November 10th against Kelowna. Joachim Blichfeld leads the Winterhawks with two game-winning goals this month and 8 total points against the Americans this season (4 goals, 4 assists). Shane Farkas manned the crease for all five games so far against Tri-City and Joel Hofer has yet to face the Americans in his two-year career.
Wednesday night is the first of three straight home games for the Hawks against three different opponents. The puck is set to drop at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night for the final home meeting against the Americans during the regular season. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.