Hockey’s back and the Winterhawks have hit the ground running! Facing off with a pair of B.C. Division rivals, Portland picked up back-to-back wins to open the new year. They’ll look to build on that early success in this Saturday’s home opener.
- Forward Gabe Klassen arrived to the 2022-23 campaign in style with a stunning six goals in two games to start the year. The 19-year-old leads the WHL in goals and points through the first weekend of games and earned WHL Player of the Week honors on Monday.
- Forward Jack O’Brien found the scoresheet three times over the weekend with a pair of assists on Friday and another helper on Saturday.
- Rookie defenseman Carter Sotheran made his WHL debut on Portland’s top defensive pairing on Friday, then logged three assists for his first WHL point(s) in Saturday’s comeback victory.
- Defenseman Luca Cagnoni was in fine form on Saturday with an assist on Gabe Klassen’s hat-trick tally, then netted the OT dagger to down the Rockets in the extra frame.
- Goaltender Dante Giannuzzi opened the season with a sterling 24-save shutout against Kamloops, then went two-for-two with 31 saves in Saturday’s OT win in Kelowna.
Play of the Week:
With six goals to his name this weekend, it would be hard NOT to pick a Gabe Klassen tally for the Play of the Week. We’ll highlight his hat-trick tally against the Kelowna Rockets, kickstarted by a trademark Luca Cagnoni rush.
As Cagnoni is closed off along the left-wing boards, he finds a streaking Carter Sotheran wisely filling the center lane, who then deftly sells the shot before dishing to Klassen for a quick one-timer from the right circle. A fantastic team play capped off by the WHL’s leading scorer! ⤵️
Portland 3 at Kamloops 0 (Friday):
Gabe Klassen scored twice and Dante Giannuzzi picked up a 24-save shutout as Portland opened its season with a bang, knocking off the Kamloops Blazers 3-0 on the road on Friday. Marcus Nguyen grabbed the other tally for the Winterhawks.
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Portland 6 at Kelowna 5 *OT* (Saturday):
Gabe Klassen continued his torrid scoring pace with four goals as the Winterhawks erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to top the Kelowna Rockets 6-5 in overtime on Saturday.
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The Week Ahead:
Only one game for the Hawks this week but it’s a big one! The Pacific Office Automation Home Opener against the Tri-City Americans is set for this Saturday, Oct. 1, at 6:00 P.M. and we can’t wait to see you all there! The Winterhawks put their 2-0-0 record on the line against the Americans, who split a back-to-back set on the road against Prince George last weekend.
Prior to puck drop, join us on the Rose Quarter Commons for Fan Fest and celebrate the new season in style! Enjoy free admission and a number of free activities including lawn games, axe throwing, face painting, live entertainment from a 99.5 “The Wolf” DJ, performances by the Rosebuds Dance Team, giveaways and much more! Plus – help welcome the team at 3:00 with hi-fives and a walkthrough tunnel! Click here to learn more about Fan Fest.
Upcoming Promo Nights:
Saturday, October 1 – Pacific Office Automation Opening Night – BUY TICKETS
Saturday, October 8 – Oregon Zoo Night – BUY TICKETS
Saturday, October 15 – Hawktoberfest – BUY TICKETS