Sports stats

 Portland Winterhawks

Hawks Wrap Up Home Slate With 7-4 Win Over Seattle

March 24, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Portland Winterhawks News Release

Led by a five-goal first period, the Winterhawks routed the Seattle Thunderbirds 7-3 in front of a crowd of 8,474 at the VMC on Saturday. The Winterhawks' next home game comes on Friday, March 29 as they open the WHL Playoffs against the Victoria Royals.

Portland's record now stands at 47-15-4-1 on the year (99pts, 2nd Western Conference).

As he did last night in Kennewick, Diego Buttazzoni nabbed the first goal of the game for Portland with a wrister off the rush at 2:03. Four minutes later, Tyson Yaremko piled on after his centering pass deflected home off a Seattle defender. Luca Cagnoni made it 3-0 with his first of two on the night, stunning T-Birds goalie Spencer Michnik with a fake dump-in attempt straight to the back of the net from center ice.

With momentum firmly in hand, Portland rattled off two more goals in a 2:19 span before the break and the rout was on. Marek Alscher potted the first of those with a long-range wrister to become the Winterhawks' all-time leader in goals among import defensemen. Jack O'Brien - one of three Portland 20-year-olds skating in his final regular-season home game - then capitalized on a rush chance with a one-time blast from the right circle.

Seattle's response came in the form of two goals from Simon Lovsin and Jeremy Hanzel to start the second period, but the Winterhawks quickly snuffed out any hope of a comeback. Cagnoni posted his second of the night at 14:13, followed two minutes later by James Stefan, another Hawks 20-year-old, with his 100th point of the campaign on a slap shot from the top of the right circle.

With that goal, Stefan became the 20th American all-time to score 100 points in a WHL season and the first since Emerson Etem in 2011-12.

Two more T-Birds goals in the third cut Portland's lead to three, but the Hawks had long since sealed the win. Jan Špunar finished with 20 saves for the win, while Michnik (8/13) and Ratzlaff (24/26) pooled their efforts in Seattle's loss.

These two teams meet again tomorrow in Kent in the final game of the regular season. Seattle's season will end, but Portland embarks on a first-round 2024 WHL Playoffs series against Victoria starting next Friday and Saturday in the VMC.

- Tickets for the 2023-24 season are on sale NOW! With single-game seats, season tickets, flex packs, group tickets and more, there's an option for every fan.

- The Winterhawks trust Riverside Payments for all of their credit card processing as the team's official credit card processors.

• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...

Western Hockey League Stories from March 24, 2024

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.

Other Recent Portland Winterhawks Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central