Winterhawks Win Big against Prince George
Portland, Ore. - Following two quick goals from the Cougars, the Winterhawks were unstoppable en route to their 6-2 win at the VMC on Wednesday.
Prince George's pair of goals came inside the first nine minutes of play as Liekit Reichle and Kyren Gronick each found twine early to put Portland on its back foot, but the Winterhawks' response was swift, tallying two goals (and a third which was disallowed due to offside) before the end of the frame. Luke Schelter nabbed his second of the season just shy of 90 seconds after Gronick's insurance marker as he corralled a loose puck beside the night and fired it over the shoulder of Prince George's Tyler Brennan. Dawson Pasternak leveled the score four minutes later with an impressive effort play, diving to chip home a rebound after a Tyson Kozak shot.
From there, it was all Winterhawks as Kozak and Jaydon Dureau each buried two goals in the final 40 minutes to complete Portland's comeback and seal a key win for the hosts. Kozak's first came on a 2-on-1 rush with Pasternak, who found the goal scorer streaking through the slot for a backdoor chip over Brennan's shoulder. Kozak potted an insurance marker midway through the third period as he coolly controlled Dureau's aerial pass and slotted it home for a 4-2 lead.
Dureau's two third-period strikes came three minutes apart as the game wound down. His first goal was reminiscent of Kozak's as he broke in on another odd-man rush with Pasternak, who finished as the game's first star with four points, and redirected a pass at the back door, while his second came on a penalty shot after he was hauled down on a breakaway opportunity.
Portland's Lochlan Gordon and the Hawks defense put on a clinic through much of the game. Gordon finished with 13 saves as Prince George was limited to just 15 shots in the tilt. Cougars' goaltender Tyler Brennan faced a barrage between the pipes but played well despite the score, totaling 53 saves on 59 shots on Wednesday.
The Hawks are back in action at home on Saturday against Victoria for their annual FOX 12 / Les Schwab Toy Drive game and Sunday evening against Everett.
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