The Portland Winterhawks (4-1-2-0) only got better as the game went on Friday night.
Scoring one, two, and three goals in the first, second, and third periods respectively, the Winterhawks claimed a 6-2 win over the Tri-City Americans (2-4-0-0). Both teams lined up with 11 forwards and seven defensemen due to injuries throughout their rosters.
This was the second game of the season between the two teams and it was eventful. Kishaun Gervais and Mitchell Brown dropped the gloves during the second period. Their skirmish immediately followed a hit along the boards that neither player was very happy with. The two continued to exchange words while in the box.
Dante Giannuzzi earned his second win of the season, stopping 21 of the 23 shots that came his way. Through five starts this season, he has a .933 save percentage. Along with his strong start in net, Giannuzzi registered an assist on Winterhawks captain Nick Cicek‘s empty-net goal in the game against Tri-City.
Cicek’s goal came with a pair of assists to match Carolina Hurricanes prospect Seth Jarvis for three points on the night.
For the Americans, Sasha Mutala scored both goals and had a number of prime opportunities to complete the hat trick.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 3, 2021
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jaydon Dureau tallied his first goal of the season on the power play. He finds himself with six points this season and improving as the season progresses.
Rookie defenseman Kurtis Smythe found the back of the net for the first goal of his WHL career in the third period.
Portland special teams continue to impress
While not allowing a goal while shorthanded, Portland went 2/7 on the power play Friday. Having only to kill off two penalties throughout the game, Winterhawks’ special teams continue to stand tall this season.
Simon Knak scored twice in the game, the first to tie the game at 1-1 while the second stood as the game-winner. Knak’s first mark was his third shorthanded goal of the season. The 19-year-old winger asked for more time on the penalty kill this season, and he’s shown that he deserves it. However, his second of the night came on the power play just one minute and five seconds after Dureau’s power-play goal.
Though the game started fairly even between the two teams, Portland seemed to take control as the game went on. The Winterhawks are hoping to carry that momentum into Saturday night as the team travels to Everett to face the Silvertips.