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Portland Heads to Holiday Break with 22 Wins

Keith Dwiggins

The Portland Winterhawks earn their fifth point of a possible six this weekend, but they fell just short in a Sunday shootout with Seattle. The Thunderbirds scored a late goal with under a minute to play in regulation to force overtime, and ultimately beat the Hawks 4-3 in a shootout.

The Thunderbirds came to town to wrap up their three-in-three weekend and needed just over six minutes to score the first goal of the night. Sixteen year old Conner Roulette scored on a breakaway to give Seattle a first period lead.

Portland came out the quicker team in the middle period and they cashed in twice before the midway point of regulation. James Stefan scored his second goal and fourth point in the last 24 hours and Seth Jarvis banged in a team-leading sixth power play goal to put the Hawks on top 2-1. Seattle would tie the game at 2-2 a few minutes later to take into the third period.

Once again, Portland was opportunistic and able to recapture the lead as Jake Gricius snapped in his 12th goal of the season from the slot. Seattle had other plans, though. Portland gave up four power play chances in the third period and the Thunderbirds were eventually able to score with an extra attacker and 45 second left on the clock. Roulette netted his second of the night after jamming in the puck in the crease to force overtime.

After four combined overtime shots between the two teams, the game headed to a shootout for the second consecutive time in the rivalry match-up. Portland drew a blank on all three shootout attempts, Isaiah DiLaura turned aside the first two shooters, but it was Roulette’s night, and he scored the shootout winner to give the Thunderbirds their 11th win of the season.

NOTABLES:

  • The Winterhawks are now 7-0-1-2 against U.S. Division opponents this year, and extended their point streak to seven straight to pocket moving into the holiday break.
  • Jake Gricius recorded two points to claim the number one star. He has points in seven of his last eight contests.
  • Reece Newkirk extended his point streak to eight-in-a-row.
  • Portland is now 1-0-0-2 this season against Seattle.
  • Portland will be on holiday break from December 16 to December 26. They return from break with back-to-back road games against Tri-City and Seattle, respectively, before returning home for the New Years Eve game.

Box Score (Click the hyperlink to find all the scoring details)

SHOTS ON GOAL:

POR: 33
SEA: 36

POWER PLAY:

POR: 1/4
SEA: 0/7

SAVES:

POR: Isaiah DiLaura stopped 32-of-35 shots and 2-of-3 in the shootout
SEA: Roddy Ross stopped 30-of-33 shots and 3-of-3 shots in the shootout.

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