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Winterhawks Game Day Preview: Portland vs. Vancouver – Game #50

Keith Dwiggins

After their three game winning streak come to a close on Wednesday, the Winterhawks return home for a pair of weekend games starting tonight against Vancouver. The Hawks are 2-0 against the Giants this season and it’s the last time they will host the B.C. Division leaders this regular season.

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m.

Venue: Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Tickets: Portland vs. Vancouver

Listen: winterhawks.com/listen

Watch: WHL Live

PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 2 vs. Chiefs 7: The Spokane Chiefs even the head-to-head match-up against Portland at two wins apiece after beating the Winterhawks 7-2 on Wednesday night. The loss ends Portland’s three game winning streak, but they will have a chance for redemption in a rematch at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.

Each team found the back of the net in the first period to make for an exciting start to the night. Joel Hofer made a handful of acrobatic stops to keep his Hawks close, but Spokane broke free in the second period.

Spokane scored six unanswered goals in the final 40 minutes to increase their lead to 7-1. Portland netted the final goal of the night thanks to Lane Gilliss, Michal Kvasnica and Robbie Fromm-Delorme. The five-goal loss was the Winterhawks’ largest margin of defeat this season.

NOTABLES:

  • The Winterhawks scored their 200th goal of the regular season tonight, becoming the second WHL club to reach 200 goals and are the first in the Western Conference to do so.
  • Riley Woods’ first period goal for Spokane was his 25th of the season, matching his goal total from a year ago. He finished with five points (G, 4A), which was the first five-point performance of his WHL career.
  • Josh Paterson deflected in the team’s first period goal, giving him four goals in eight games with the Hawks.
  • Jared Freadrich collected an assist on the tying goal before the end of the first frame, setting a new career-high at 33 points.
  • Jaret Anderson-Dolan reeled in a three point night and Luc Smith found the back of the net twice in the second period.
  • Special teams played a factor as Spokane broke the game open with a pair of power play goals in the second period.
  • Shane Farkas relieved Joel Hofer after 47:23 of play.
  • The win ended Spokane’s five game losing skid.

TODAY’S MATCH-UP:

The Vancouver Giants are the leaders in the B.C. Division with 32 wins and are slotted one game ahead of the Winterhawks in the Western Conference standings. The Giants are one of the hottest teams in the WHL with points in their last ten games.

Davis Koch leads the way with 51 points for the Giants and recently played in his 300th regular season game. Over the last ten game stretch, future top-ten NHL draft pick Bowen Byram has nine goals and six assists. Byram was ranked the No.4 North American skater in the recent Central Scouting rankings and the Hawks have held him to just one goal in the previous two meetings.

Goaltender David Tendeck is expected to miss tonight’s games due to personal reasons, so Trent Miner should get the start for the Giants. He has put together a tremendous season in his second year in the WHL. The Manitoba native is third in the league with a 1.82 goals against average and his .934 save percentage is second best in the WHL (minimum 350 minutes played). Miner is one of three Western Hockey League goaltenders to be ranked in the top 6 on the Central Scouting midterm list.

Head-to-head, Jake Gricius and Reece Newkirk each have two goals and an assist against the Giants in two previous meetings and Shane Farkas has a stellar 1.98 goals against average against Vancouver. Keep an eye on the pace of play tonight seeing as both teams are very structured and we could be gearing up for a defensive minded game.

The Hawks return home on Friday for a key Western Division match-up against the Vancouver Giants. The game will be played at Veterans Memorial Coliseum with the puck set to drop at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability for tonight’s game.

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