Klassen Scores Four, Cagnoni Nets OT Winner as Hawks Oust Rockets 6-5
Gabe Klassen continued his torrid scoring pace with four goals as the Winterhawks erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to top the Kelowna Rockets 6-5 in overtime on Saturday.
Much like Friday's win, Klassen's first of the night came early on a penalty shot just five minutes into the game. After being taken down on a breakaway, Klassen coolly tucked home a backhand shot for a quick Portland lead. Kelowna responded seven minutes later behind Adam Kydd's first of the season to level the score heading into intermission.
The second period followed the same script as Klassen tallied his second goal of the night - his second consecutive two-goal game to open the season - just over six minutes into the frame. Carter Sotheran intercepted a Kelowna stretch pass at the Portland blue line and quickly turned it up to Klassen for a partial breakaway and a top-shelf finish. The Rockets again responded, and this time took the lead, riding goals from Gabriel Szturc and Andrew Cristall to a 3-2 lead.
Kelowna's surge carried into the third period as Cristall's second of the night put the hosts up by a pair early in the frame. But so too did Klassen's hot streak, and the 19-year-old completed the hat-trick for his fifth of the young season at 9:31, collecting a pass at the right side of the net from Sotheran and hammering home a one-timer. After Szturc again extended Kelowna's lead a minute later, it was Klassen who once more sparked his side with his fourth goal of the evening. Now within a goal, Portland completed the comeback as Luke Schelter tied the game on a rebound at 16:25.
Following a wild 60 minutes, Luca Cagnoni grabbed his first of the campaign with the overtime winner as he took a Marcus Nguyen pass, skated into the high slot, and picked the stick-side corner on Jari Kykkanen.
Dante Giannuzzi notched his second win in as many nights for the Hawks with 31 saves on 36 shots, while Kykkanen turned away 34 of 40 for the Rockets.
The Winterhawks return home now to take on the Tri-City Americans in their home opener on October 1 at 6:00 P.M.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT presented by BBF TECHNOLOGIES:
"It was obviously a great game for us. We came out how we wanted to and got an early one and then let it slip away a little bit, but we didn't give up at all, we were right there the whole game."
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