What: The Portland Winterhawks (38-14-3-2) face the Vancouver Giants (21-29-3) in the Western Hockey League.
When: Saturday March 12, 5 p.m.
Or: Memorial Coliseum.
Look: You can stream the game via CHL pay-per-view ($6.99 CDN for one game).
Listen: Audio Winterhawks and Giants.
- The score of the box.
- Receive updates and chat before, during and after the game.
On Friday, the Winterhawks again found a way to win against a good team that outplayed them. The Seattle Thunderbirds outshot them 53-29 as Taylor Gauthier came in big and seventh shooter Luca Cagnoni secured the circus winner. They were just over two minutes away from a two-goal win in regulation, which would have given them an even better lead over Seattle for 3rd in the conference, but as it is, the lead is 7 dots. With a big game between Everett and Seattle up north, they can win over either of those teams with a win, and with Kamloops having a tough game with Kelowna further north, Portland could be a division and conference leader. at the end of play on Saturday.
But they will have to beat Vancouver, the only team they haven’t beaten yet. In both head-to-head games, they outshot the Giants by 10 or more shots, but goaltender Jesper Vikman held them back. They won’t have to worry about Vikman this time.
|20||22-Jaydon Dureau (201 games)|
|19||11-Robbie Fromm-Delorme (171)
18-Tyson Kozak (147)
71-Hanas Cross (190)
|18||9-Aidan Litke (62)
13-James Stefan (112)
16-Gabe Klassen (106)
21-Jonas Bevington (50)
67-Dawson Pasternak (34)
92-Jack O’Brien (118)
|17||17-Luc Schelter (58)
19-Kyle Chyzowski (77)
72-Marcus Nguyen (73)
A rare slow night for the forwards. Kozak’s sideline pass to Dureau for a power play goal created a goal.
Hanas fell to a tie for 9th in league scoring.
Leading forward: Hanas (70 points/52 games), Stefan (66/57), Kozak (64/57), Klassen (53/57), Dureau (50/38)
|20||58-Clay Hanus (252)|
|19||23-Kurtis Smythe (106)|
|18||6-Ryan McCleary (70)|
|17||8-Josh Mori (26)
26-Marek Alscher (50)
43-Ryder Thompson (61)
73-Luca Cagnoni (62)
Two big plays from Hanus led to Portland’s two goals. The margin by which they have been passed by good teams lately casts doubt on the ability of their group of young defensemen to qualify for a long playoff streak.
Best defenders: Hanus (58/57), Cagnoni (32/52), McCleary (27/52).
|20||35-Taylor Gauthier (184)|
|19||31-Dante Giannuzzi (65)|
A rare game where you are confident enough that Giannuzzi gives it the picture. Gauthier played Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Unless they really got into playing hot hand, he gets the rest.
Giannuzzi has had 3 consecutive games of .900 or more.
Save percentages: Gauthier .933, Giannuzzi .894.
On December 4, the Giants were 13-7-1, had won 6 games in a row and had beaten Kelowna, Kamloops and Everett in their previous 3. It has since slumped as they have gone 8-22-2 since. Which is a disaster for a team with so many 19 and 20 year olds expecting to challenge for a division title. Losing 9 times to Victoria hasn’t helped their season. They are currently 6th, which would make it Portland’s playoff game as it stands.
They snapped a 5-game losing streak on Friday with a win at Tri-City. Fabian Lysell, their star player, picked up the winner with just under 2 minutes left. They’re 27 points off 5th, so they’re just trying to hold off the teams below, then try to regroup for a playoff upset.
|20||12-Adam Hall (110)|
|19||8-Ty Thorpe (183)
16-Cole Shepard (76)
17-Kaden Kohle (187)
Mount 19-Payton (195)
20-Jacob Boucher (52)
23-Kyle Bochek (18)
|18||10-Zack Ostapchuk (121)
11-Fabian Lysell (39)
36-Justin lies (110)
|17||15-Jaden Lipinski (53)
18-Colton Langkow (47)
28-Julian Cull (55)
|16||7-Ty Halaburda (45)
14-Ethan Semeniuk (42)
Shepard has a 6 game streak with at least one point broken by a missed game. Seminiuk and Hall are on modest 3 game streaks. But the streaks are all dominated by one-point games, and they just haven’t had much offense outside of Lysell. Lipinski scored 2 goals against the Americans on Friday.
The ex-Thunderbird Mount has missed two straight games with an upper body injury. We relied on him a lot and he didn’t have a good year.
Leading forward: Lysell (45/39), Thorpe (39/47), Ostapchuk (31/47), Hall (28/48), Mount (26/45).
|20||22-Connor Horning (260)
27-Alex Cotton (195)
|19||4-Tom Cadieux (159)
6-Evan Toth (124)
|18||21-Nicco Camazzola (68)|
|17||13-Damien Palmieri (38)|
|16||47-Mazden Leslie (66)|
Cotton returned Friday after a 3-game suspension. He was an early season acquisition with high expectations, and he’s doing well.
Best defenders: Cotton (31/42), Horning (26/49), Cadieux (15/45).
|19||30-Jesper Vikman (35)
31-Will Gurski (23)
|15||1-Matthew Hutchison (1)|
Vikman, after starting 18 straight games, suffered a lower-body injury and is out week by week.
Gurski struggled but beat the Ams on Friday.
Hutchison faced Spokane on Wednesday and stopped 28 of 32, not bad for a 15-year-old. He’s a 3rd round pick so he’s probably their future goaltender.
Save percentages: Vikman .903, Gurski .883, Hutchison .875.
|power plays for/game||4.2||3.4||4.0|
|Power plays versus play||4.1||3.9||4.0|
|After 1 period||28-16-13||17-20-16|
|After 2 periods||29-18-10||19-24-10|
|Score, last 10 games||51-27||27-36|
|Score, last 20 matches||110-46||48-70|
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