Portland Does It Again, Beats Seattle at Home
Portland, Ore. - A second consecutive two-goal game from Tyson Kozak (co-ZACK) helped propel the Winterhawks past the Thunderbirds 5-1 on Saturday night. Taylor Gauthier (go-CHEE-yay) backstopped 27 shots to remain perfect in a Portland sweater (4-0-0-0).
With the win, Portland extends its point streak to ten straight games with a 9-0-0-1 record dating back to December 17th.
The Winterhawks scored inside the first three minutes for a second consecutive game when Gabe Klassen picked the pocket of a Seattle defenseman and banked a shot off of Thomas Milic (mill-itch) for an early Portland lead. Josh Zakreski (zuh-CRES-ski) picked up the primary assist to earn his first point as a Winterhawk. The two teams traded chances for the remainder of the opening frame, with each team's netminder coming up with some sterling stops.
In the middle frame, Seattle mounted an attack and broke through via Conner Roulette (ROO-let), who scored a similar bank goal to Klassen's at 7:51, but Portland continued to press, and regained the lead on the power play at 14:02 of the second period. Cross Hanas (HAN-is) found Clay Hanus (HAW-nis) for a one-timer at the top of the right circle and Kozak deflected the puck through Milic's equipment to put the Hawks up 2-1 heading into the third.
Kozak doubled his team's lead midway through the third, finishing off a rush with Hanas and James Stefan with a bullet one-timer into the top corner, and the rout was on. Hanas tallied an empty-netter and Luke Schelter chipped in a very late goal to push the Hawks to a 5-1 victory.
Now the Hawks are just a game and a half back of Seattle in the divisional standings (note: one point lead but two extra games played) and they get right back on the ice Sunday with a matchup against the Spokane Chiefs at 5 p.m. to conclude the stretch of three games in three nights.
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