Portland is playoff bound after 4-1 win over Tri-City
The Winterhawks returned to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over the Americans, sealing their place in the 2023 WHL Playoffs later this spring.
Game #48: Portland (4) vs Tri-City (1)
SOG: POR (43) – TC (26)
PP: POR (0/2) – TC (0/3)
Saves: Giannuzzi (25/26) – Avakyan (39/43)
COMPLETE BOX SCORE
- POR – 5:11 – Second Period – Marcus Nguyen (15) from Kyle Chyzowski and Gabe Klassen
- TC – 8:57 – Second Period – Adam Mechura (16)
- POR – 13:30 – Second Period – Gabe Klassen (28) from Kyle Chyzowski and Ryder Thompson
- POR – 17:26 – Second Period – Aidan Litke (12) from Luca Cagnoni and Ryder Thompson
- POR – 3:57 – Third Period – Diego Buttazzoni (4) from Nick Johnson and Luke Schelter
A scoreless first period gave way to three second-period strikes for the home team as the Winterhawks (35-10-2-1) knocked off the Tri-City Americans (25-17-4-1) 4-1 on Saturday night. Dante Giannuzzi finished with 25 saves to pick up the win for the hosts.
With the win, Portland officially clinches a berth in the 2023 WHL Playoffs. The Winterhawks have qualified for the postseason in 12 consecutive campaigns.
As he did last night, Marcus Nguyen got the Winterhawks on the board first, albeit a period later tonight. After sustaining some pressure in the offensive zone with Kyle Chyzowski and Gabe Klassen, Nguyen collected a loose puck at the blue line and fired a shot off the blocker of Nick Avakyan which deflected up and over the Americans’ netminder and into the net for a Portland lead at 5:11 of the period.
Three minutes later, Adam Mechura got Tri-City on the board on a shorthanded breakaway, but the Winterhawks responded with a pair of tallies before the end of the frame. Klassen grabbed the first at 13:30, finishing off a pretty tic-tac-toe play from Ryder Thompson at the right point, to Chyzowski at the bottom of the right circle and over to the Hawks’ captain on the back door for a tap-in. Portland doubled its lead four minutes after that when Luca Cagnoni rushed down the right wing, held up in the offensive zone and floated a perfect seam pass to a streaking Aidan Litke for a quick wrist shot under Avakyan’s glove.
Portland continued to pour it on in the third period, boosting the lead to three on Diego Buttazzoni’s fourth of the year 3:57 into the final frame. After Cagnoni kickstarted a rush from his own zone, Luke Schelter chipped it ahead to a streaking Nick Johnson, whose rebound was batted in by Buttazzoni in front. With a 4-1 lead, Giannuzzi and the Hawks held it down in their own zone to seal the win.
The Winterhawks are back in action on home ice Tuesday night at 7:00 P.M. against the Red Deer Rebels.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT presented by BBF TECHNOLOGIES:
“It’s a nice relief and it’s good to see that we’ve clinched now. I think now it’s about that second step to push to be at the top, to get that higher seed in the playoffs, but it’s nice to know you’re in and have that little bit of breathing room.”
Winterhawks forward Kyle Chyzowski