The Winterhawks have momentum heading into the weekend finale thanks to their blowout win in the Teddy Bear Toss game. Tonight is the first and only time the Hawks will face the Ice this season.
Puck Drop: 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Moda Center
Tickets: Portland vs. Kootenay
Watch: WHL Live
PREVIOUS GAME – Winterhawks 8 vs. Chiefs 2: In front of a sold-out crowd, the Winterhawks cruised to an 8-2 win against the Spokane Chiefs in their 21st annual Teddy Bear Toss game.
Lane Gilliss scored the opening goal of the night 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the game to send the teddy bears flying from the Winterhawks’ faithful. Gilliss spun in a second chance rebound in front of Dawson Weatherill, marking it the quickest teddy bear toss goal scored in team history. He beat Skyler McKenzie’s mark of 2:31 set in December 2016.
The Hawks would add to their lead 93 seconds later. Joachim Blichfeld retrieved a puck that popped out of Weatherill’s glove and he shoveled it in to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. Later, on the power play, Portland tacked in one more. After excellent puck movement in the offensive zone, Cody Glass slipped in a pass to Jake Gricius who scored his 11th power play goal of the year.
With a 3-0 lead after the first 20 minutes, the Hawks added to it in the second period. Bailey Brkin relieved Dawson Weatherill of his duties in net to start the period. Ryan Hughes scored the fourth straight goal for the Hawks on a slot feed to the near post.
Spokane was able to claw back in the game with two unanswered of their own, but the Hawks remained focused and increased their lead before the intermission. Jaydon Dureau drove in a wrist shot on an odd-man rush to give the Hawks a 5-2 advantage, and 60 seconds later, Seth Jarvis roofed in the team’s 6th of the night.
It was all Portland in the final period as Ryan Hughes scored his second of the night to make it a 7-2 game. It was the fifth career multi-goal effort in Hughes’ WHL career. Reece Newkirk became the seventh different Winterhawk to score with his tap in goal in the 13th minute of the period. The Hawks coasted to an 8-2 win at home.
During the game, it was announced in the arena that 10,451 stuffed animals hit the ice for the Teddy Bear Toss goal. A few hundred more will join that total to be donated for the holiday season. Tonight, 12 different Winterhawks found their way in the stat sheet and the team’s eight goals was the best performance in Winterhawks Teddy Bear Toss history dating back to the 1998-99 season.
The Kootenay ICE have had a rough November and are winless in their last eight games. On Saturday night, they were shutout by the Silvertips 3-0 and on Friday, they allowed seven goals to the Thunderbirds in a loss.
Former first overall Bantam pick Peyton Krebs highlights the Ice offensive unit. Krebs scored his first career hat trick in Seattle on Friday. He was listed as an A-rated prospect for the NHL Draft and is projected to be a top ten selection this June. Tonight, he skates in his 100th career WHL game.
Rookie Connor McClennon provides a strong support to Krebs. He was drafted 2nd overall by Kootenay in the 2017 Bantam Draft and has 12 points in 20 games. Former Winterhawks Brad Ginnell also returns to Portland after playing 76 games for the Hawks.
Entering Sunday, Kootenay only has seven wins, which is the second lowest in the WHL. The two teams did face-off against one another in the preseason. Kootenay won 4-3 in overtime, but the Hawks didn’t have a handful of key players who were skating at NHL camps. Krebs, McClennon and Dallas Hines paced the way with three points each in the overtime win. Rookies Seth Jarvis, Jaydon Dureau and Haydn Delorme scored for the Hawks.
Portland is home on Sunday, December 2nd against the Kootenay ICE for Fred Meyer Hawks Fight Hunger to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. Be sure to visit winterhawks.com/tickets for full details on pricing and availability.