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 Portland Winterhawks

Winterhawks Weekly: Making Noise in the North

January 22, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Portland Winterhawks News Release

The Winterhawks kicked off last week with a Monday matinee win, then went north of the border and returned with four of six possible points - including a rousing 2-1 win over the B.C. Division-leading Cougars in Prince George on Saturday. Newly acquired forward Nate Danielson made his Winterhawks debut and picked up points in all three road games, highlighted by an impressive between-the-legs move for a goal in his first game with his new team.

Portland now holds the top point percentage in the Western Conference as the team heads into a busy weekend. Three games in three nights await, starting on the road against Tri-City and Spokane on Friday and Saturday before a return home to host Seattle on Sunday at 5:00 P.M. in the rescheduled tilt from Jan. 13.

Hot Hawks:

Forward James Stefan opened the week with three straight multi-point performances, pushing his season total to 62 points in 41 games. The Laguna Beach, Calif. native bagged 2G, 1A on Monday, then 1G, 1A in Kelowna and two helpers on Friday.

Forward Nate Danielson hit the ground running in his new colors, notching points in all three games played last week. The Red Deer, Alta. native chipped in a goal and an assist in Wednesday's win over Kelowna, followed by an assist on Friday and the opening goal on Saturday.

Forward Diego Buttazzoni scored in three of four games last week, including the game-winning strike on Saturday's key win at CN Centre. The 2024 NHL Draft prospect has goals in four of his last five outings and hit 20 tallies on the year for the first time in the WHL.

Defenseman Luca Cagnoni earned WHL Player of the Week honors after leading the league with eight points (1G, 7A) in four games. He has recorded points in all seven games played this month and ranks second among WHL defensemen with 54 points (9G, 45A) in 40 games this season.

Goaltender Nick Avakyan picked up three of four possible wins and shined in both heavyweight tilts in Prince George. After a strong 23-save showing in a tough loss on Friday, Avakyan earned first-star honors with 34 saves on 35 shots as the Hawks got revenge on the Cougars with a 2-1 win.

Play of the Week:

He's here and already making an impact!

After being acquired by the Winterhawks in a massive trade on Jan. 10, Nate Danielson made his Winterhawks debut in style last week, scoring this beauty late in the first period to give Portland the lead. Watch to the end for perhaps the best replay angle as the Detroit Red Wings first-rounder collects a Luca Cagnoni pass behind his body, then pulls it between his legs and pots it in one motion.

Weekly Rewind:

Portland 7 vs. Kamloops 1 (Monday):

Three-point performances from Ryan Miller and James Stefan paced a potent Portland offense as the Winterhawks downed the Kamloops Blazers 7-1 on Monday afternoon.

Portland 5 at Kelowna 4 (Wednesday):

Four points from Luca Cagnoni, three from James Stefan and Nate Danielson's first goal as a Winterhawk highlighted a 5-4 win over the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on Wednesday.

Portland 2 at Prince George 3 (Friday):

Gabe Klassen scored twice to take the lead in the third for Portland, but Riley Heidt answered with a pair of his own - including a last-minute game-winner - to give the Prince George Cougars a 3-2 win over the Winterhawks at CN Centre on Friday.

Portland 2 vs. Prince George 1 (Saturday):

Diego Buttazzoni netted the game-winner 6:14 into the third period and Nick Avakyan earned first-star honors with 34/35 saves as the Winterhawks earned a 2-1 win over the Prince George Cougars at CN Centre on Saturday night.

The Week Ahead:

For the fifth time this year, the Winterhawks will play three games in three nights this weekend after the postponed Jan. 13 home game against Seattle was rescheduled for this Sunday, Jan. 28.

Before we get back to the fun on home ice, the weekend kicks off with a pair of divisional road tilts. On Friday, the Winterhawks take on Tri-City at 7:05 P.M. before heading up the highway for a battle with Spokane on Saturday at 6:05 P.M.

Wrapping up the weekend, it's a Battle with Seattle on home ice at 5:00 P.M. on Sunday! The I-5 Rivalry has delivered the fireworks this year, and the Hawks will be keen to respond after dropping an OT loss in their last meeting with the T-Birds. Catch the game on Portland's CW if you can't make it!

Upcoming Promo Nights:

Friday, February 2 - Pride Night - BUY TICKETS

Sunday, February 4 - Hawks Fight Cancer Night - BUY TICKETS

Saturday, February 10 - Black Hockey History Night - BUY TICKETS

Saturday, February 17 - Mascot Night - BUY TICKETS

PLUS - did you hear the big news? The Portland/Seattle rivalry is climbing to new heights with the "Battle on the Sound" - a regularly scheduled road game on March 17 against the Thunderbirds will now be played at Climate Pledge Arena, home of the Seattle Kraken! See you there!

- 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.

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Western Hockey League Stories from January 22, 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.

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