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Portland Winterhawks Silence Americans, Go Flightless Versus Thunderbirds

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


With a three game win streak going into the weekend's action, Portland would serve up a tough loss to the Tri-City Americans. Portland struck early on the power play as Rihards Bukarts and Dominic Turgeon assisted on a Jack Dougherty marker just over three minutes into the game. Just under four minutes later, Colton Veloso would notch his fifth of the year courtesy of Skyler McKenzie and Portland had opened a two goal margin. Tri-City would answer ten minutes into the game as veteran Brian Williams was able to get the puck past Adin Hill to cut the margin in half. Portland would respond almost immediately as Alex Overhardt would capitalize on Caleb Jones and Cody Glass's hard work and helped chase starter Evan Sarthou from the net having given up three goals on just 10 shots.

Three minutes into the second period, Portland got to back up Nicholas Saunders with Dominic Turgeon getting his 11th of the season with Overhardt and Veloso assisting. It would take Tri-City just 45 seconds to answer back as Beau McCue would find his 8th of the year and Tri-City would again cut the margin in half. While on the power play, Paul Bittner would put the game away for good as Tri-City took a hooking minor and Portland would score on the five on four. The game took a nasty turn as the Americans grew more and more desperate in the third and they took liberties on Portland including a vicious cross check to the head of Keegan Iverson by James Maxwell. Maxwell would get a 5-minute major and game misconduct and was suspended one game by the league. in addition, Tri-City was fined $500 for actions in the melee. Portland outshot Tri-City 46-28 and went 2 for 5 on the power play while blanking the Americans on two attempts.

The next night, Portland headed to a sold out ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington to face the Seattle Thunderbirds for the first time on the road. Matthew Barzal opened the scoring after a miscue by Portland and made no mistake about it, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead. Paul Bittner, who has been on a bit of a streak himself, would answer for Portland towards the end of the first period to knot the game at 1 apiece. Seattle continued the pressure with two goals thirty seconds apart including one on the power play and opened up a 3-1 lead at the end of two periods. Paul Bittner took advantage of a Seattle penalty and score just 42 seconds into the third to close the gap, but goals by Nick Holowko and Matthew Wedman less than two minutes apart sealed the deal for the Thunderbirds who stretched their winning streak to six games and snapping the four game win streak by Portland.

Portland heads back home with games against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Wednesday and then a special 3PM Burgerville Daylight Classic game as they take on the Vancouver Giants. The Hawks will then have a lengthy road trip to Prince George on December 1st and 2nd before moving south to Kamloops and Kelowna and Everett before a doubleheader versus Prince George on December 11th and 12th, the latter being the Les Schwab Fox 12 Toy Drive and Teddy Bear Toss weekend. Those two games will be the last home games until after Christmas. 

Ice Chips: Former Winterhawks goaltender Brendan Burke, who was traded to Calgary last season, was waived through the WHL waivers and eventually claimed on the CHL waivers by the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm. They, in turn, traded Burke to the London Knights for a sixth round draft choice. Burke will assist with the 17 and 18 year old goaltenders on the roster and will complete his junior career in London, Ontario. 

The Portland Winterhawks Booster Club will volunteer with the Portland Winterhawks and Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division as part of the Daylight Classic on Saturday, November 28th at Veterans Memorial Coliseum to help fans bring new and gently used blankets, coats and new socks for those in need. The first 500 fans to donate will receive a discount shopping pass from Adidas.

{image_2}GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.


Related Slideshow: 5 Sports Teams With Offensive Mascots

Native American activists see the logo of the Portland Winterhawks as offensive and are demanding the team make a change. Here a some other mascots certain people find offensive. 

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