(Regina, SK) Five different players scored for the Portland Winterhawks (25-11-3-2) as they remained perfect against the East Division this season as they swing through Saskatchewan. Wednesday evening Portland continued to receive balanced scoring defeating the Regina Pats (12-28-1-1) by a score of 5-2.
19-year-old Jake Gricius opened the scoring by continuing his hot streak. Jake’s goal was his fourth in the last six games. The streak includes points in all six games for the Colorado Springs native.
Gricius told winterhawks.com, “I have to credit my linemates. They have been doing a good job of getting the puck in the net or getting me the puck,” when asked about his recent streak. “I can’t take all of the credit. I’ve been getting pretty lucky; my linemates are doing a pretty great job.”
16-year-old rookie Robbie Fromm-Delorme maintained possession of the puck behind the Regina net while the Winterhawks completed a line change. Fromm-Delorme spotted Gricius in the slot giving Portland a 1-0 lead 8:15 into the game.
With under a minute to play in the first period, Minnetonka, Minnesota native, and second-year defenseman, Clay Hanus’ slap shot found the back of the net.
The Pats started Dean McNabb as normal starter Max Paddock sat out with a reported illness. McNabb stopped 11 Portland shots in the first 20 minutes while the Pats were credited with 13 on Shane Farkas.
Portland came out buzzing in the second period sending four shots on the Regina net in the first 56 seconds. McNabb kept the first three out, but after a scramble behind the net, Ryan Hughes spotted Joachim Blichfeld for a 3-0 Winterhawks lead.
Austin Pratt gave Regina life before the second period horn sounded. Tyson Feist’s shot from the point was saved by Farkas, but the rebound went directly to the Pats’ leading scorer. Pratt made no mistake and notched his 100th career WHL point.
Despite a relatively quiet third period, the teams combined for just 13 shots, three goals were scored.
Former Regina Pats d-man and current Portland overage Jared Freadrich’s wrist shot provided the Winterhawks with a three-goal cushion again. Gricius was rewarded with his third point of the evening after contributing the primary assist.
Liam Schioler got in on the defensemen scoring party with his fourth of the season. The tally brought the Pats within two for the last 11 minutes of the game.
With an offensive zone faceoff, and down by two goals, Regina’s head coach Dave Struch pulled McNabb for an extra attacker with 3:23 remaining in the game.
The gamble failed to pay off as 18-year-old Mason Mannek scored the empty net goal. Dureau was originally credited with goal as he continued his strong play on the road trip. However, upon further review Mannek will receive credit for his ninth of the year.
Dureau also extended his point streak, including three goals, to four straight games. With Jaydon’s hometown just 21 minutes east of Regina, Dureau’s streak was played in front of many friends and family.
The win marked Portland’s 25th of the season and increased their points in the standings to 55. The Winterhawks are 7-0-3-0 in their last ten games. Despite their points streak reaching ten, they are currently 11 points behind the U.S. Division leading Everett Silvertips who hold 66 points. Portland does have one game in hand after Wednesday’s action wrapped up.
The Spokane Chiefs, third in the division, trail Portland by seven points but have two games in hand.
Regina is next in action on Friday when they travel to Medicine Hat to take on the Tigers. Portland meanwhile makes the journey to Prince Albert to battle with the WHL points leading Raiders.
On Wednesday Portland traded with Swift Current for goalie Joel Hofer. As of Wednesday evening the plan is for Hofer to join the team in time for the weekend.
The WHL trade deadline is Thursday at 2:00 PM Pacific.
– Former Winterhawks Ty Kolle and Brett Clayton faced off against their former team.
– Matthew Quigley played in his 150th career game after sitting out the last four serving a suspension.
– Blichfeld leads the WHL in goals with 38 and has netted at least one in the last six games. In his last 15 games the San Jose Sharks prospect has scored 17 times.
– The Regina vs. Portland matchup has favored the Winterhawks recently as Portland won their 7th in a row since 2012.