Portland Winterhawks vs. Kelowna Rockets
Portland is looking to get back in the win column after dropping three straight games for the first time since October 4-8, 2019. They face a struggling Rockets team in a snowy weekend series.
Puck Drop: 7:05 p.m. PT
Venue: Prospera Place (Kelowna, BC)
Listen Live: Winterhawks Radio Network and on the Winterhawks App.
Watch Live: WHL Live
FOLLOW ALONG: Box Score
The Winterhawks got to town Thursday evening with thick snow flurries falling down at the Prospera Place, the site of the 2020 Memorial Cup. This weekend is the Hawks lone trip to Kelowna as they look to improve upon their two head-to-head wins against the Rockets. A Portland win tonight would clinch their third straight winning season against the B.C. based opponent. They have not swept the Rockets in the season series since the 2011-12 regular season.
Earlier this week, the Winterhawks became the first Western Hockey League team and third Canadian Hockey League team to punch their ticket to the 2020 postseason. Thus, they enter the weekend ranked third on the CHL’s Top Ten Rankings. Portland is five wins shy of its ninth consecutive 40-win season and the team still has 19 games to play until the end of March.
Tonight is a rare meeting outside of the U.S. Division seeing as 14 of the Hawks final 19 games are played against teams from the state of Washington. Kelowna has been forced to battle injuries over the last month and they have just two wins in their last ten games. Captain and World Juniors gold medalist Nolan Foote and third leading scorer Matthew Wedman are two of the five Rockets who carry week-to-week injuries into the weekend match-up.
Simon Knak leads his teammates with a current five-game point streak. Seth Jarvis currently sits in fourth place in WHL scoring with 67 points. In his last ten games, the Hawks offensive leader has raked in 28 points (8G-20A). With a goal on Tuesday night at the VMC, Reece Newkirk has now scored in 50 games during his WHL career in Portland. Offensively, the Hawks became the third WHL team to reach 200 goals and they carry seven skaters on their roster with 10+ goals.
Once again, keep an eye on special teams play. Last weekend, the Rockets allowed Spokane to score eight power play goals (8 for 15) and the Winterhawks have scored a special teams goal in each of their last six games.
Reece Newkirk – Jake Gricius – Mason Mannek
Cross Hanas – Tyson Kozak – Simon Knak
Jaydon Dureau – Jack O’Brien – Seth Jarvis
Lane Gilliss – Gabe Klassen – Robbie Fromm-Delorme
Matthew Quigley – Johnny Ludvig
Nick Cicek – Jonas Brøndberg
Kade Nolan – Kurtis Smythe
Scratches (alphabetically): Kishaun Gervais, Clay Hanus, James Stefan
Mark Liwiski – Alex Swetlikoff – Jake Poole
Dillon Hamaliuk – Kyle Topping – Ethan Ernst
Trevor Wong – Jonas Peterek – Pavel Novak
Dallon Wilton – Dylan Wightman (AP) – Steel Quiring (AP)
Elias Carmichael – Kaedan Korczak
Jake Lee – Conner McDonald
Jackson DeSouza (AP) – Tyson Feist
Scratches (alphabetically): Sean Comrie, Nolan Foote, Liam Kindree, Devin Steffler, Matthew Wedman
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