Hawks Blank Blazers for Season-Opening Win
Portland, Ore. - 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.
Klassen initially capitalized on an early power play, finishing off some beautiful rush passing for his first of the year just 1:34 into the contest. Robbie Fromm-Delorme dished to a streaking Jack O'Brien in the middle lane at the offensive blue line, who then slid a backhand pass across the crease to a wide-open Klassen on the back door.
O'Brien picked up his second primary helper of the day as he set up Nguyen's strike five minutes into the second period. As O'Brien skated left-to-right into the offensive zone, he dropped the puck to the waiting Nguyen, who then wired a wrist shot over the glove of Kamloops' Dylan Ernst to double the Hawks' lead.
As Giannuzzi helped the Hawks weather five penalty kills, including two in the third period, Portland capped off its win with another Klassen tally at 17:14 of the final frame with assists from Kyle Chyzowski and Ryder Thompson.
Giannuzzi's shutout was the fourth of his career and the first for a Winterhawks goaltender on opening night since Ian Curtis stopped 24 shots in a 5-0 win over Seattle on Sept. 19, 2009 (via Andy Kemper).
The Winterhawks now head to Kelowna to take on the Rockets tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m.
• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...
Western Hockey League Stories from September 24, 2022
- GAME Preview: Wheat Kings Open Regular Season Versus Ice - Brandon Wheat Kings
- Winterhawks Weekly: September 26 - October 2 - Portland Winterhawks
- Winterhawks Reassign Donavan Bodnar to MJHL - Portland Winterhawks
- Game Day Hub: September 24 at Kelowna - Portland Winterhawks
- Warriors and Mosaic Partner on Goals for Food Program - Moose Jaw Warriors
- Chiefs Get Season off to Hot Start with 7-5 Win over Victoria - Spokane Chiefs
- Hurricanes Name 2022-2023 Leadership Group - Lethbridge Hurricanes
- Game Preview: Cougars vs Americans (Game #2) - Prince George Cougars
- Americans Look to Rebound in PG - Tri-City Americans
- Chiefs Look to Carry Momentum into Saturday's Rematch against Victoria - Spokane Chiefs
- Pats Head to the Moose Jaw Events Centre Saturday - Regina Pats
- Game Day Preview - September 24 vs Lethbridge - Medicine Hat Tigers
- Americans Stumble in Opening Night Loss - Tri-City Americans
- Hitmen Win First Regular Season Game - Calgary Hitmen
- Chiefs Get Season Off To Hot Start With 7-5 Win Over Victoria - Spokane Chiefs
- Broncos Fall in Season Opener to Hitmen - Swift Current Broncos
- Hawks Blank Blazers for Season-Opening Win - Portland Winterhawks
- Pats Drop 2022-23 Home Opener - Regina Pats
- Oil Kings Fall to Red Deer in Home Opener - Edmonton Oil Kings
- Highlights: September 23, 2022 - Swift Current Broncos
- Cougars Collect Win Number One in Season Opener vs. Tri-City - Prince George Cougars
- Spokane Spoils Season Opener with 7-5 Win over Victoria - Victoria Royals
- Hawks Blank Blazers 3-0 in Season Opener - Portland Winterhawks
- Warriors Open Season with Comeback Win in Regina - Moose Jaw Warriors
- T-Birds Begin with Road Win - Seattle Thunderbirds
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.