Portland started off their 4 game road swing, by shutting out the Kamloops Blazers in an important matchup between 2 of the top 3 teams in the Western Conference.
The Hawks showed a lot of jump to start the game and was abel to control a lot of the play in the first couple periods.
They opened the scoring 7 minutes in when Oliver Bjorkstrand found Tory Rutkowski, jumping up into the play, with Rutkowski filing it high blocker side past Blazers Goaltender Cole Cheveldave.
Later, about 2 minutes into the 2nd period, Blazers D-man Tyler Hansen jumped up into the play to put a nice check on Bjorkstrand, but it backfired on him, as Oliver found Brendan Leipsic, for a 2 on one break. Leipsic waited out Cheveldave, finding the 5 hole and making it 2-0.
14 minutes later, in the 2nd, the Hawks took advantage of a 3 on 2 break, with excellent passing between Rattie, Petan and Leipsic; Rattie found Petan on the back door and he filed it, closing out the scoring.
In the 3rd, the Hawks pulled back and played a defensive minded game, which they accomplished with a grade A defensive performance, holding on to the shut out (Carruth's league leading 7th of the year).
Overall, the Hawks really limited the scoring chances for the Blazers, though they were outshot 27-24, most of the chances, did not cause any rebounds or get Carruth out of position.
-Hawks are now 40-1-0-1, when leading after 2 periods.
-Hawks have a better pk% on the road then at home (93-89, going into this game).
-Leipsic briefly led the league in goals, with his 42nd in the 2nd period, before Petan re-tied him, 14 minutes later.
-Leipsic with the 2 points in the game, now has 105 pts on the year (Petan has 102).
3 Stars of the Game:
#3-Tyler Wotherspoon-His defensive positioning and lack of mistakes (like always), really led the team in forcing a lot of shots to the outside and not cause Carruth to have to make too many great saves.
#2-Mac Carruth-Even though their were not a lot of great chances, Mac really closed the angles down and got, yet another, shutout.
#1-Oliver Bjorkstrand-Though he didn't score 4 goals in this one, his 2 assists were things of beauty and really show that he has developed into more then just player with a wicked shot.