Portland (20-8-0-1) vs. Everett (17-12-1-1) – 6:00 p.m. – Portland, OR
Finally…the Les Schwab Teddy Bear Toss game is here! The Winterhawks welcome the Everett Silvertips to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum tonight. Portland will look avenge their 4-1 loss to Everett on Wednesday. The season series between these two teams in currently split at two games apiece.
TEDDY BEAR TOSS FACTS:
- The Winterhawks are 15-3-1 all-time on Teddy Bear Toss night.
- Skyler McKenzie scored the goal that set off the toss last season. The last player to score the Teddy Bear Toss goal in back-to-back seasons was Ty Rattie in 2010 and 2011.
- Only one Teddy Bear Toss goal has been scored in overtime, that was in 2006, with the goal being scored 1:00 minute into OT by Kyle Bailey in a 1-0 win over Vancouver.
- In 2007, Luke Walker scored the “official” Teddy Bear Toss goal, but it was Chris Francis’ disallowed goal earlier in the game that prompted the bears to be thrown on the ice.
LAST YEAR’S TEDDY BEAR TOSS RECAP: Skyler McKenzie earned his first career hat trick, which included the coveted teddy bear goal, as the Portland Winterhawks (18-13-1-0) earned a 5-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips (21-4-5-0) in front of 10,095 fans at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the annual Les Schwab Teddy Bear Toss.
McKenzie’s first goal brought down the teddy bears, later adding both a shorthanded and a power play goal to propel the Hawks to victory. McKenzie also tallied an assist for a four-point night.
TODAY’S OPPONENT: The Everett Silvertips come to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum tonight as one of the hottest teams in the WHL. The Silvertips have won seven in a row and are playing their best hockey of the season.
Carter Hart has been the driving force behind Everett’s recent run. The Silvertips’ netminder is 12-3-1-0 on the season with five shutouts. He leads the WHL in goals against average and save percentage. He enters tonight having allowed just five goals over his last seven games.
Patrick Bajkov has played extremely well against the Winterhawks this season. The over-age forward has four goals in four games against the Winterhawks this year. He leads all Silvertips players in points against Portland with seven.
WINTERHAWKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: The only two Winterhawks on the current roster to have scored a Teddy Bear Toss goal are Skyler McKenzie last year, and Keoni Texeira back in 2013. For Texeira, it was his first goal in the WHL.
McKenzie leads Portland with 10 goals on home ice this season, while Kieffer Bellows is second with nine. But Bellows leads Portland in first period goals this season, with eight of his 18 goals coming in the opening frame.
STAT OF THE DAY: The quickest Teddy Bear Toss goal ever was Skyler McKenzie’s marker last season just 2:31 into the first period.
Here’s how the two teams have played head-to-head this season:
Winterhawks: 2-2-0-0 Silvertips: 2-2-0-0
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 @ Portland
12/17/17 – Portland @ Everett
01/06/18 – Portland @ Everett
01/14/18 – Everett @ Portland
01/31/18 – Everett @ Portland
03/11/18 – Everett @ Portland
After tonight’s game, Portland is on the road on Tuesday in Spokane. The Winterhawks then return home on Saturday to take on the Chiefs at the VMC. Make sure to grab your tickets HERE!