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Game Day Hub: December 27

Portland Winterhawks vs. Tri-City Americans

The Portland Winterhawks return from Christmas break with back-to-back road games against U.S. Division opponents. First up, the team heads east for the second trip to the Toyota Center this month.

Puck Drop: 7:05 p.m. PT
Venue: Toyota Center (Kennewick, WA)

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FOLLOW ALONG: Box Score

The Portland Winterhawks (22-6-1-3) sit second place in the division, just a game back of the lead, with 48 points at the holiday break. They are looking to continue their success against the Americans this season. Portland has won both its previous meetings against Tri-City, while outscoring them 14-2.

Cross Hanas is the top performer against Tri-City with three goals and three assists in the two games. Defenseman Clay Hanus owns four goals head-to-head, including the game-winning tally in the last meetings. Reece Newkirk is currently on a career-best eight-game point streak entering the second half of the season.

Portland enters the weekend on a seven game point streak in December (6-0-0-1) and seventh place on the CHL Top Ten rankings. They will be without goaltender Joel Hofer (Canada) and forward Simon Knak (Switzerland) until early January as they are overseas playing in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. Isaiah DiLaura and affiliate player Dante Giannuzzi will share the work in net while Hofer is away. Giannuzzi picked up his first win of the season on December 14 when the Hawks beat Tri-City 8-1. Defenseman Jonas Br√łndberg has returned from his international event in Belarus.

On the Americans side, keep an eye on Colorado Avalanche prospect Sasha Mutala. He has scored two goals and four assists in his last five games. Portland matches up against a Tri-City team that has struggled this month, going 0-5-1-0 in December while getting outscored 29-to-12.

The next home match-up against the Americans is next weekend on January 4.


PROJECTED LINE-UP:

Portland

Reece Newkirk – Jake Gricius – Robbie Fromm-Delorme
Jaydon Dureau – Jack O’Brien – Seth Jarvis
Cross Hanas – Tyson Kozak – James Stefan
Lane Gilliss – Gabe Klassen – Mason Mannek

Matthew Quigley – Johnny Ludvig
Jonas Br√łndberg – Clay Hanus
Kade Nolan – Nick Cicek

Dante Giannuzzi (AP)
Isaiah DiLaura

Scratches (alphabetically): Kishaun Gervais, Joel Hofer (Team Canada), Simon Knak (Team Switzerland), Kurtis Smythe

Tri-City

Connor Bouchard – Krystof Hrabik – Sasha Mutala
Edge Lambert – Nick Bowman – Paycen Bjorklund
Parker Bell – Sam Huo – Booker Daniel
Landon Roberts/Blake Stevenson – Tyson Greenway – Kaden Kohle

Marc Lajoie – Luke Zazula
Samuel Stewart – Jayden Platz
Bryan McAndrews – Tom Cadieux

Beck Warm
Talyn Boyko

Scratches (alphabetically): Mitchell Brown, Mason Dunsford, Ian Ferguson, Kyle Olson


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