Portland (22-13-1-2) at Everett (23-15-1-1) – 7:05 p.m. – Everett, WA
Tonight is the last time this regular season that the Winterhawks will visit Everett. So far this year they are 2-2-0-0 on the road against the Silvertips. Everett has gotten the better of Portland in these two teams last three meetings.
PREVIOUS GAME RECAP – PORTLAND 3 at SPOKANE 9: Despite entering the night with the second-best road record in the WHL, the Hawks couldn’t handle the Chiefs in Spokane on Friday as Portland fell 9-3.
Spokane (21-15-1-2) came out firing in the first period, scoring three times to take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. Jake Gricius got the Hawks on the board early in the second on a snap-shot from just inside the left circle to make it a two-goal game. After the Chiefs responded with another, again Portland got within two on a goal from Cody Glass, his 23rd of the season. But the Chiefs kept the pressure on and were able to bury two more before the period ended to make it 6-2.
In the third, after the Chiefs made it 7-2, Skyler McKenzie wired home his team-leading 28th of the year on a sweet feed from Alex Overhardt to make it 7-3. Spokane would add two more later in the period to make it a 9-3 final. Cole Kehler made 41 saves on the night.
TODAY’S OPPONENT: The Silvertips, much like Portland, are coming off a tough loss last night. Everett fell 5-0 to the Royals in Victoria, it was just the second time this season Everett has been shutout.
Patrick Bajkov continues to lead the Silvertips in scoring with 54 points in 40 games this season. The over-age forward also leads Everett in points against the Hawks with five goals and eight points.
In net, Dustin Wolf is likely to get the start for Everett. The 16-year old goaltender is 2-0-0-0 so far this season against Portland with a 2.50 GAA and a .933 SV%. Wolf has also put up very solid numbers overall this year, posting a 2.03 GAA in 11 games this season.
WINTERHAWKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: Skyler McKenzie enters tonight’s game on a four-game goal streak. The Sherwood Park-born forward has eight goals over his last seven games. He has also produced well against the Silvertips this season, burying a team leading four goals in six games.
Alex Overhardt enters tonight on a four-game point streak. The 6’0” forward has five points during that span and has played well against Everett this year, registering two goals and two assists in six games.
Jake Gricius is another forward who has been producing recently. After scoring four times in his first 32 games this season, the Colorado Springs-native has three goals in his last six games. Gricius was one of three Hawks to score last night against Spokane, wiring home a snapshot from just inside the left circle for Portland’s first goal of the night.
STAT OF THE DAY: The Winterhawks are 12-0-0-0 when leading after the first period this season.
Here’s how the two teams have played head-to-head this season:
Winterhawks: 2-4-0-0 Silvertips: 4-2-0-0
09/23/17 – Portland 7 @ Everett 4
10/29/17 – Everett 3 @ Portland 2
11/04/17 – Portland 3 @ Everett 1
12/06/17 – Portland 1 @ Everett 4
12/09/17 – Everett 2 @ Portland 1
12/17/17 – Portland 3 @ Everett 8
01/06/18 – Portland @ Everett
01/14/18 – Everett @ Portland
01/31/18 – Everett @ Portland
03/11/18 – Everett @ Portland
Portland has two more games after tonight on the road before they return home on January 13th to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds. Make sure to grab your tickets HERE!