Winterhawks clinch 12th consecutive WHL Playoff berth

The Portland Winterhawks became the second Western Hockey League club to clinch a berth in the 2023 WHL Playoffs with tonight’s 4-1 win over the Tri-City Americans at the VMC. Standing at 35-10-2-1 on the season, the Winterhawks have now qualified for the WHL Playoffs in 12 consecutive campaigns and will chase their fourth Ed Chynoweth Cup beginning this spring.

Currently leading the Western Conference with 73 points, Portland once again has high hopes for challenging for another championship. The 2023 WHL Playoffs are expected to begin one week after the conclusion of the regular season during the weekend of Mar. 31 – Apr. 2.

Portland boasts a bounty of scorers throughout its lineup with veteran forwards Robbie Fromm-Delorme (56), James Stefan (54) and captain Gabe Klassen (53) pacing the team in points. Fromm-Delorme has already set new career highs in goals and points during his overage season and is the lone Winterhawk to rank inside the top 20 in WHL scoring. Klassen leads the Winterhawks with 28 goals, and the Hawks are the only Western Conference team to have nine players with double-digit goal totals this season. Additionally, Winnipeg Jets 2021 first-round selection Chaz Lucius has been a strong addition to an already skilled lineup, providing 15 points in six regular-season games since the Jets assigned him to Portland last month. The ‘by-committee’ scoring approach is sure to benefit the Winterhawks this spring during their postseason journey.

On the backend, Luca Cagnoni leads the charge with 48 points and has been a staple in the top ten scoring leaders among WHL defensemen all season. The Winterhawks’ reigning Rookie of the Year has points in nine of his last 10 games and recently skated in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, which identifies the top NHL Draft-eligible players around the Canadian Hockey League. Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Ryan McCleary and Florida Panthers 2022 draft selection Marek Alscher have been an impressive pair for the Hawks, playing big minutes and locking it down in all situations. Newcomer Carter Sotheran leads all WHL rookie defensemen with 20 points and should also hear his name called at the 2023 NHL Draft. He also sits second on the team with an impressive +17 rating.

Between the pipes, Dante Giannuzzi and Jan Špunar have proven to a rock-solid goaltending tandem this season. Giannuzzi has already set a new career-high with 22 wins and owns a .905 save percentage and a 2.94 goals-against-average (GAA) through 29 starts. Špunar, a first-round CHL Import Draft selection, has allowed three goals or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts to accompany his steady .902 save percentage and 2.80 GAA. Like Cagnoni and Sotheran, the Olomouc, CZE native was also recognized by NHL Central Scouting on their mid-season draft rankings.

Now, the Winterhawks are in a race for a U.S. Division title and home-ice advantage in the WHL Playoffs. Their journey continues Tuesday night when the Winterhawks welcome the Red Deer Rebels to Veterans Memorial Coliseum for a 7:00 p.m. PT puck drop.

Playoff ticket availability and pricing will be announced in the coming weeks – stay tuned to and Winterhawks social channels for more information.

Join us for two fan-favorite game nights in March!

Mascot Night returns to the VMC on Saturday, March 4! Tommy is inviting all your favorite Portland-area mascots for a memorable night. Be sure to stay in your seats for an intermission hockey game between the mascots and the Junior Winterhawks that’s sure to be a smash. Let’s party! Get your tickets today!

The Jack in the Box annual Twilight Game takes center stage on Sunday, March 5 as the Winterhawks take on the Everett Silvertips! The VMC curtains will be lowered to allow natural light into the arena bowl, giving the game an outdoor feel. Fans can soak in this unique viewing experience and enjoy the Portland skyline during the game. Get your Jack in the Box Twilight Game tickets today!


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