Friday night saw the Spokane Chiefs claim their second win as they hosted the Portland Winterhawks for the first time in 448 days. The long wait seemed to work for them as they defeated the visiting Winterhawks 3-1.
The Winterhawks are on a bit of a downward slide as they lost their third in a row. The home team looks to have found their groove following a 5-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans on Wednesday night.
Mason Mannek netted his third goal in as many games to open the scoring. Unfortunately, his goal would be the only one in the game for the Winterhawks.
Spokane goaltender Mason Beaupit stopped 35 shots on his way to securing victory for his team. In all areas other than goals, the visitors looked to be controlling this game, outshooting the Chiefs 36-21. With Bobby Russell, Adam Beckman, and Cordel Larson scoring three unanswered goals, the Winterhawks couldn’t work their way back onto the scoresheet. To add to that, Spokane’s penalty killers had a fantastic night, going 5-for-5 and keeping a strong Portland roster at bay.
In a lucky turn of events for Spokane, Russell’s goal came on a breakaway as he exited the penalty box early into the second period.
⌚ 00:39 (2nd)
📈 SPO 1 – POR 1 pic.twitter.com/Rnxf4CYZwp
— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) April 10, 2021
Portland GM/VP/head coach Mike Johnston shared some thoughts following the game.
“I thought it was a little scrambly, the game. We did have good puck possession time in the offensive zone on several shifts, and we just didn’t really get quality chances out of it. They clogged it up. They were good in the corners, smothering us a little bit in the corners. I thought that it was a game that it was hard to find space and kind of settle the puck down. We minimized their chances which was good, but we need to start scoring.”
Players in and out for Portland
Another game that saw the Winterhawks lose a player during the game. Tonight it was defenseman Jonas Brøndberg. However, fresh out of his quarantine, newly signed Luke Schelter appeared in his first game for Portland. Schelter registered two shots on goal and a strong first game despite having no time to train with the team.
Johnston offered some perspective on getting Schelter being in the lineup so soon after signing, “So he’s been quarantined for a while in Portland just going through the protocol and testing, so he hasn’t had a practice with us. So I thought to jump in after six hours of travel and a road game like that it was challenging for him, but I was happy with his play. He’s a big-bodied guy; he’s got good hands, right-hand shot. There’s a lot of positive things.”