Winterhawks Pick Up 2 Wins This Week Against Prince George, Now on 4 Game Win Streak
Monday, December 10, 2018
STUART KEMP, Oregon Sports News
It was the return of Ilijah Colina following the trade from Portland to PG and the wonder of many fans was whether or not the Hawks would have run out of gas after outscoring the opposition in two games, 18-4, but they were up to the challenge of the Prince George Cougars this weekend.
On Friday, they battled Prince George at the Moda Center. The Hawks scored twice on the powerplay in the first period to take a 2-0 lead; Joachim Blichfeld and Seth Jarvis scored for Portland, who was a perfect 2 for 2 on the powerplay and allowed two goals on eight power plays for PG. Robbie Fromm-Delorme scored early in the second, but allowed PG to score about five minutes later. Two goals by Portland in the second period put the game out of reach for Prince George. Late in the third period, PG capitalized on the powerplay to put PG within three. But that’s as close as they got. Portland outshot Prince George 35-25 in the game and picked up 17 shots in the first period alone, where they set the tone for the game. Portland wins 5-2 as they saw Spokane win 6-1 over Lethbridge to keep a bit ahead of the Chiefs in the standings as they round the midway point of the season.
The next night it was a very cold Veterans Memorial Coliseum that hosted the rematch of the two teams. It was almost a carbon copy, three goals separated the two teams and Portland with a 39=22 shot advantage. Portland remained in penalty trouble giving six power plays to Prince George, but shut them down on all of them. Portland was able to score once on three tries. Portland scored first as Jake Gricius put one past Taylor Gauthier and pout shout the Cougars 10-3 in the period. Two goals in the second, by Ryan Hughes on the powerplay and then Joachim Blichfeld sealed the deal for the Hawks, as they shut out Prince George 3-0 . Portland stays up two points in Spokane after 30 games each. Everett, which leads Portland by 11 points, has played two more games.
Portland boarded the bus that night, as they traveled to Everett and then Sunday to Victoria so they could play two midweek games against the Royals. The Royals have gone 3-6-1 in the past ten games and hold on to a regular season playoff, but just barely spot as they are locked in a virtual dead heat with Kamloops and a resurging Kelowna Rockets team, The Hawks will then head into the Christmas break with an away and home series against the Tri City Americans who have gone 3-5-2 in their past ten. Portland is 6-4-0-0 with four straight wins and outsourcing the opposition 26-6 in that time.
Cody Glass picked up honors as the player of the week in the WHL and at the same time, was named to Canada’s World Junior roster as well. The camp will run December 11-14 which will see Glass miss a few games, Tyson Kozun, will appear as a Hawks replacement at the time. The actual tournament will start December 26 and end January 5 in Vancouver and Victoria which will also see Glass miss games as well. While they need to pare down from 34 players to 23 with the World Juniors, it would be shocking to see Glass not make this team.
Ice Chips: The Portland Winterhawks Booster Club presented all the players with a gift bag from the membership. A wide variety of treats awaited the players after the game and a couple were even sent on the bus to Prince George. The PWHBC has also floated the first ever Eastern Swing since the realignment almost twenty years ago. The crew will fly in to Regina, base operations there and then travel to all the Saskatchewan teams and teams in Manitoba. It is not known whether there will be further alignment if Cranbrook goes to Winnipeg which as been widely speculated. In that case, Swift Current would join the Central Division and not be part of the Eastern Swing. So far, enough have committed to go on the swing based on current costs, that the planning of the trip is in full swing mode.