After playing six of seven games on the road to start the year, the Portland Winterhawks (4-2-0-1) return home for a midweek contest against the Edmonton Oil Kings (5-3-0-1). Wednesday represents the first of two home games this week for the Hawks and they enter the night with a five game point streak.
Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Tickets: Portland vs. Edmonton
Watch: WHL Live
PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 4 at Silvertips 1: The Winterhawks win a defensive battle on the road to secure their fourth straight win of the season.
Offense continued for the Hawks in the first period as they scored twice to take the early lead. Just shy of eight minutes into the game, Cody Glass fed Brendan De Jong streaking in on the left side and De Jong slapped in his second goal of the season to give Portland a 1-0 advantage. A minute later, Bryce Kindopp stripped the puck at his defensive blueline and scored on a shorthanded breakaway to even the score. The Winterhawks got the final say of the frame, however. De Jong swung it to Joachim Blichfeld at the point for a one-timer and Seth Jarvis bullied his way in front of the net to clean up the power play goal for his third tally of the season.
The second period was a scoreless one in northern Washington. Shane Farkas turned aside seven shots, including a couple of in tight chances by the ‘Tips. Dustin Wolf did his part in the middle period keeping the Silvertips in a one-goal game. The 17 year old netminder made 20 saves through the first two periods.
Neither defense would give in th third period, until Blichfeld netted a pair of empty net goals to seal the 4-1 win for Portland. Shane Farkas posted some of his best road numbers of the year, stopping 27 of 28 shots and going a perfect 6-for-6 with his team on the penalty kill.
The Oil Kings are in the midst of a U.S. Division swing and have undoubtedly felt the tide turn rather quickly from their hot start. Starting the season with five straight W’s, Edmonton has gone winless in their last four.
Edmonton suffered a 6-4 loss in the lone WHL game last night in Kennewick. They found themselves in a 3-0 hole less than seven minutes into the game and chased goaltender Boston Bilous out of the game after stopping just one puck. They did battle back thanks to a pair of power play goals to tie it heading into the intermission. Vince Loschiavo scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season, but they ultimately dropped the game 6-4 in Washington.
One of the shining stars on the team is Trey Fix-Wolansky is tied for third in league scoring with 15 points. Playing in his 150th WHL game on Tuesday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets prospect now has 61 goals in his career in Edmonton. The team will need his line to produce considering the Oil Kings play six games in nine days on the southern swing.
On the backend, Matthew Robertson has been making noise with the NHL Central Scouting. The A-rated defenseman is projected a bonafide first round pick in this summer’s draft, but the team could be without him tonight as he mends an injury. In net, the Oil Kings have been sharing the load between 17-year-old Bilous and 1999-born Dylan Myskiw. Myskiw closed out last night’s game stopping 26 of 28 shots.
Tickets are still available for tonight’s 7:00 p.m. game against Edmonton. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.