Sunday night saw the Portland Winterhawks overcome a 3-1 deficit to claim a 7-4 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Both teams were playing their third game in three nights, their second straight against each other. The two split their back-to-back series. Seattle ended the weekend with a 2-1-0-0 record (3-2-0-0 for the season), while Portland found their weekend record finish 1-1-1-0 (3-1-2-0 for the season). The win against the Thunderbirds Sunday night moved the Winterhawks back into second place in the division as the second weekend of the season came to a close.
The game started with a bang and never slowed
Early in the game, Connor Roulette was hooked on a breakaway. He found success on the resulting penalty shot, giving the Thunderbirds the early lead. Throughout the game, fans saw a back-and-forth battle between the two rival teams.
— Seattle Thunderbirds (@SeattleTbirds) March 29, 2021
Shortly after that first goal, captains Nick Cicek (Winterhawks) and Tyrel Bauer (Thunderbirds) dropped the gloves. This was not an overly surprising event as the two had been exchanging words during the warmups.
Second night in a row we have had an extended pregame conversation with Tyrel Bauer and a @pdxwinterhawks player. This time it’s Cicek. Didn’t look friendly. @SeattleTbirds @JOEtvSEA @PortlandsCW 5pm. pic.twitter.com/FKi5FVKZZG
— Ian Furness (@IanFurnessSea) March 28, 2021
After the final horn, Portland forward Kishaun Gervais was assessed a 10-minute misconduct. When asked about what happened, Winterhawks’ VP/GM/head coach Mike Johnston had this to say,
“I know the refs had warned both benches during the game: no more talking there was a little bit of talking going back and forth as there is in competitive games between two rivals. I didn’t like it either; I thought that the refs did a good job getting it under control. So I’m not sure if something was said at the end of the game or in the last play. I know he was on the ice for the last shift, but no, I really don’t know what happened.”
Scoring was plentiful
The second period saw six goals scored, ending with the teams tied through the first forty minutes.
Meanwhile, Simon Knak scored twice to bring his season total to five goals, scoring in four straight games. His second even-strength goal of the season tied the game 4-4 and was the first of four unanswered Winterhawks goals.
Seth Jarvis scored Portland’s fifth goal shorthanded. This is the fourth shorthanded goal of the season for the Winterhawks, as well as the second one to stand as the game-winner.
For Seattle, Henrik Rybinski scored his first goals of the season while Gabe Ludwig lit the lamp for the first of his WHL career.
On Portland’s side, Robbie Fromm-Delorme found the back of the net for the first time this season. Ryan McCleary and Kyle Chyzowski also went on to
Goaltending tested early and often
It was Brock Gould up against Thomas Milic in net Sunday afternoon. Just two days prior, Milic recorded his first WHL shutout against the Tri-City Americans.
The Winterhawks scored seven times on 40 shots throughout the game. With Milic making 33 saves on 39 shots while he was in net.
Meanwhile, Gould hit what seems to be the magic number for the Winterhawks this season, with 30 saves made on 34 shots.