Winterhawks Weekly: Hawks Push Point Streak to Eight Straight with Five-Point Weekend
Facing three games in three nights after Wednesday's postponement to Sunday, the Winterhawks picked up a rousing road win over Seattle on Friday, then took five of six possible points against Tri-City and Kamloops to cap off another successful weekend and make it eight consecutive games with at least a point (7-0-0-1 in that span).
Forward James Stefan tallied three goals in three games last week, including a two-tally effort on Friday in Seattle. Coming off of a WHL Player of the Week award-winning run during the prior week, Stefan opened the scoring against the Thunderbirds, then tied the WHL record for fastest overtime goal with his game-winner just six seconds into the extra frame - his second consecutive game-winning goal. The Laguna Beach, Calif. native boasts 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points this season, leading all Winterhawks skaters in goals scored and tied for tops on the team in points with Tyson Kozak.
Speaking of Tyson Kozak, Portland's co-captain bagged two goals and a helper against Seattle to mark his fourth outing of the year with three or more points. The Souris, Man. native has posted seven points in his last seven games (4G, 3A) and his 34 points mark a career high in three seasons with the Hawks.
Forward Jaydon Dureau notched four assists across last week's three matchups to bump his totals to eight goals and 20 assists in just 21 games. Dureau, a native of White City, Sask., set up three Winterhawks goals on Friday, including Stefan's quick winner in OT. Dureau also set up the game-tying tally on Sunday, and boasts five points in four games (all assists) since returning from a three-game absence.
Defenseman Luca Cagnoni was in fine form on home ice this weekend, scoring on both Saturday and Sunday to help the Hawks to three points. After being held off the scoresheet in his prior four outings, Cagnoni grabbed Portland's only goal on Saturday in a 2-1 SO loss to Tri-City, then tallied the game-tying goal on Sunday against Kamloops to help spur on the Winterhawks' remarkable run of five unanswered goals. The Burnaby, B.C. native ranks seventh on the team and second amongst defensemen with 21 points (5G, 16A) in 30 games this year.
Hawks captain Clay Hanus joined Cagnoni in the goal column on Sunday with his eighth tally of the year, a wired wrist shot from the top of the circles that served as the game-winner as Portland knocked off Kamloops. Hanus' goal on Sunday was his first since Dec. 18 at Spokane, and the Excelsior, Minn. native leads Winterhawks blueliners with 29 points in 35 games this season.
Goaltenders Taylor Gauthier and Dante Giannuzzi continued their stellar play between the pipes as they collectively backstopped the club to its 2-0-0-1 record last week. Gauthier, fresh off of a WHL Goalie of the Week award-winning showing against Kelowna, picked up where he left off with a 48-save effort on Friday to beat Seattle. Giannuzzi stepped up from there, helping the team to another point with 20 saves against Tri-City on Saturday. Portland has picked up at least one point (4-0-0-1) during each of Giannuzzi's last five starts, and the Winnipeg, Man. native has won eight of his last 10 starts. Capping off the week, Gauthier shut the door on one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league with 25 saves against the Blazers, sealing his third win in as many starts with the Winterhawks since being acquired via trade from Prince George on Dec. 27.
Portland 4 at Seattle 3 (OT) (Friday):
Taylor Gauthier stopped 47 shots, James Stefan and Tyson Kozak scored a pair of goals apiece and the Portland Winterhawks notched their 10th win in their last 11 games with a 4-3 overtime victory on the road over the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Portland 1 vs Tri-City 2 (SO) (Saturday):
The Winterhawks stretched their point streak to seven games, but Dwayne Jean Jr.'s shootout tally helped the Americans take the bonus point in a 2-1 SO victory at the VMC on Saturday. Tri-City goaltender Nick Avakyan earned first star honors with 44 saves between the pipes.
Portland 5 vs Kamloops 2 (Sunday):
Aidan Litke scored twice and Taylor Gauthier made 25 saves as the Winterhawks rattled off five consecutive goals to knock off the Kamloops Blazers 5-2 at the VMC on Sunday.
The Week Ahead:
Another three-in-three awaits the Winterhawks this week. On Friday, they head to Kennewick on Friday to avenge this week's SO loss to the Americans, then it's time to pack the VMC on Saturday for another Battle with Seattle! Can't make it? Catch that game against the Thunderbirds on Portland's CW! Finally, Sunday sees the Hawks welcome the Spokane Chiefs back to town. Last time we took on Spokane, we saw Cross Hanas and James Stefan break the internet with their "Zegras" play - what tricks will they pull out of the hat this time?
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Western Hockey League Stories from January 17, 2022
- Winterhawks Weekly: Hawks Push Point Streak to Eight Straight with Five-Point Weekend - Portland Winterhawks
- Tigers Acquire Barlage from Hurricanes - Medicine Hat Tigers
- Giants Acquire Jacob Boucher and Two First-Round Picks from Edmonton for Justin Sourdif - Vancouver Giants
- Oil Kings Acquire Florida Panthers Prospect Justin Sourdif from Vancouver - Edmonton Oil Kings
- Giants Acquire a First-Round Draft Pick from Winnipeg for Tanner Brown - Vancouver Giants
- ICE Acquire Brown & Wheatcroft - Winnipeg Ice
- Hurricanes Acquire Edwards and Picks from Winnipeg - Lethbridge Hurricanes
- Giants Acquire 2002-Born Defenceman Tom Cadieux from Regina for a Pair of Draft Picks - Vancouver Giants
- Pats Acquire Pair of Draft Picks from Giants for Cadieux - Regina Pats
- Royals Face Cougars, Giants and Silvertips in Jam Packed Week - Victoria Royals
- WHL Announces Postponement of Broncos January 18 Game vs Winnipeg - Swift Current Broncos
- Hurricanes Acquire Hopwo from Tigers - Lethbridge Hurricanes
- Chiefs Acquire Forward McCarry and Draft Pick from Kamloops for Toporowski - Spokane Chiefs
- Blazers Acquire Luke Toporowski from Spokane Chiefs - Kamloops Blazers
- Saskatoon Blades Acquire Wild Prospect Josh Pillar from Kamloops Blazers - Saskatoon Blades
- Blazers Send Forward Josh Pillar to Hometown Saskatoon Blades - Kamloops Blazers
- Brennan Named WHL Goaltender of the Week - Prince George Cougars
- Cougars Netminder Brennan Named WHL Goaltender of the Week - WHL
- Hurricanes Forward Hall Named WHL Player of the Week - WHL
- WHL Announces Postponement of WHL Regular Season Game Between Winnipeg and Swift Current - WHL
- What's on Tap January 18-21 - Prince George Cougars
- Blazers Acquire 2002-Born Forward Drew Englot from Regina - Kamloops Blazers
- Pats Acquire Spencer from Blazers for Englot - Regina Pats
- Warriors Acquire Larson from Spokane - Moose Jaw Warriors
- Spokane Swaps Forwards and Adds Third-Round Pick in Trade with Moose Jaw - Spokane Chiefs
- Power Play Success Not Enough for Ams in 6-3 Loss to Silvertips - Tri-City Americans
- Tigers Bested 5-3 by Rebels - Medicine Hat Tigers
- Rebels Return to Winning Form against Tigers - Red Deer Rebels
- Bjarnason, Ritchie Lead BWK to OT Victory - Brandon Wheat Kings
- Winterhawks Earn Five of Possible Six Points After Beating Kamloops 5-2 on Sunday - Portland Winterhawks
- Oil Kings Comeback to Stun the Hurricanes - Edmonton Oil Kings
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