Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hawks Set Road Wins Record-Beat Prince George 6-2

On Friday night, Portland took the first of 2, this weekend and the third straight, this season, when they ousted the Cougars, in easy fashion 6-2.

This, their 25th road win of the season, sets the franchise record that had been owned by both the 2010-11 team and the 1980-81 squad.

Portland dominated throughout, as most would expect from teams, that came in separated by 57 points in the standings, though P.G. did provide a couple of pushes, in the early parts of the 2nd and 3rd periods.

This was not the case early, however, as the Hawks scored 5:43 into the game on a power play , when Ty Rattie caught Defenseman Dan Gibb flatfooted and hit Nic Petan with a nice pass, that he converted, with a backhand shot past Goalie Mac Engel, for an early lead.

Then about 7 minutes later, also on the power play, Petan found D-Man Troy Rutkowski in the slot and he bounced it of P.G. D-Man Gibb, past Engel for the 2-0 lead.

The Hawks closed out the scoring in the first when Chase De Leo drove past a P.G. player on the right boards and got a shot that Engel made a nice save on. The puck, however was loose in the crease and Taylor Leier swooped in for the ugly goal.

P.G. created some sold chances early in the 2nd period, capitalizing when Zach Pochiro, on the power play, went with the wrap around and shot the puck off Portland's Seth Jones' stick and past Brendan Burke.

P.G. then got another power play and seemed to be creating some great chances, until forward Troy Bourke sent a blind pass to the Blue line that Rattie jumped on and put past Engel on the breakaway.

This seemed to really turn the game as Leier found Seth Jones in the slot, on a  rush, minutes later. to make it 5-1, to close out the 2nd.

The Hawks coasted after that sending out the 3rd and 4th lines on regular shifts and scoring their last goal of the game as Rattie, got his 2nd of the game off the rebound of a Brendan Leipsic shot, to make it 6-1.

P.G. got another goal with under 7 to go, when Colin Jacobs found Troy Bourke driving the net and he put it in the top corner, to close out the scoring in the game.

3 Stars of the Game:
#3-Taylor Leier- He was all over the place, especially early, creating an abundance of turnovers and winning almost every one on one battle that he had. He also finished with a goal and an assist.
#2-Seth Jones-Also had a goal and an assist and put out, yet another, sold defensive performance.
#1-Ty Rattie-2 goal and an assist and really created a lot of issues for the P.G.defense with his speed and nifty passing.

Random Notes:
-Brendan Burke made a nice save on a penalty shot from Zach Pochiro early in the 3rd period after Portland D-Man Shaun Mac Pherson hauled himdown on a breakaway.
-Burke now has 20 wins on the season.
-Edmonton lost 6-4 to Spokane, so Portland now has a 12 point lead in the overall standings with 10 games to go.
-Kelowna beat Victoria 8-3, keeping pace with Portland- 13 points back in the West.

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