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Portland Winterhawks Take it on the Chin with 2 Losses this Weekend

Monday, February 09, 2015

 

For the Portland Winterhawks, time is ticking on the regular season and so too are points needed for a strong finish. The Winterhawks had chances this weekend on what are classified as "four point games" against divisional rivals and came up short.

It started with the Seattle Thunderbirds, who currently sit in third place in the US Division. At the start of the season, Seattle owned the Hawks which helped the dismal start to the season. Since that time, however, Portland has been able to even the series and make some leaps and bounds in the standings to where they are now. The week off for the team seemed to do more harm than good as out of the gate, they fell flat. Seattle was able to build a 3-0 lead before the Winterhawks figured out where they were. Give the team credit though, as they found a way to chip away at the lead. Oliver Bjorkstrand, who has been the catalyst for this team on the scoresheet, broke the shutout of Taran Kozun in the Seattle net midway through the second period. Just over four minutes into the third Keegan Iverson brought the Hawks within one and Dominic Turgeon tied it just over a minute later. 

It wasn't to be as the Hawks committed many turnovers from that point on and allowed Seattle too many chances as the last half of the third period was all Seattle with three unanswered goals to take a 6-3 win. There were many who looked to officiating as a cause with the Winterhawks getting just one power play on the whole night, but overall, it was a decisive Seattle win. Oliver Bjorkstrand was named the game’s third star.

Two nights later, it would be the Everett Silvertips hosting the Portland Winterhawks in a battle of the top two teams in the US Division. Some might say it was deja vu in the hole all over again as Everett was spotted two goals in the first period, one early in the contest by Dawson Leedahl and one near the conclusion of the frame by Cole Bauml. Once again, it would be Oliver Bjorkstrand to break the shutout near the midway point of the game and then Paul Bittner would bang one home just over two minutes later to tie it up while on the power play. Portland would then run into penalty trouble and gave Everett a five on three advantage, but wouldn't allow a score.

A second five on three advantage with two Portland defensemen in the box proved to be too much as they collapsed the Portland defense midway through the third period to give Bauml his second of the game. Towards the end of the period, Portland came on strong. Sensing they were on their last legs in the contest, the team used everything they could to throw at the Everett netminder and pulled Adin Hill for the extra attacker. The strategy paid off as Chase De Leo in a mad scramble in front, flipped the puck past a sprawled out Carter Hart to tie the game with 32 seconds left.

It would appear that whatever energy was used to cash in the tying goal was the last they had in the tank. Overtime was all Everett as they needed just two shots and a minute and a half to steal the win. Everett took 49 shots to Portland's 33 and both teams scored once on the power play. Adin Hill was named the third star of the game for his 45 save performance which included some highlight reel saves.

Portland was able to salvage a point for the overtime which kept them six points in front of Seattle. Everett pulled six points ahead of the Winterhawks with a game in hand and Seattle has three games to make up, which if they win all three, would tie them with Portland in the standings. Another quirky week on the schedule as once again it will be several days before the Hawks take to the ice, that being Friday the 13th as they face off against the Tri City Americans who are holding onto the last playoff wildcard spot. 

Ice Chips: The Portland Wintewrhawks will have another player signing at Les Schwab (8910 Barbur Blvd) from 4:30 to 6pm on Wednesday, February 11 with players to be announced. The Booster Club will begin raffling off a game worn, signed Brendan Burke jersey with the 2014 Memorial Cup patch on it on Friday. There will be a strict limit of 500 tickets for this item. The Booster Club also announced that it would make a donation to the Children's Cancer Association this coming week during the annual telethon. 

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.

 

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