Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hawks Beat T-Birds in a Crazy One 8-4; Tie Team Record for Points

113 points in a season had been standing as the Winterhawks team record for points until Friday night when the 2012-13 squad, setting records left and right, took down Seattle at home 8-4, tying the record.

Brendan Leipsic had a hat trick and Ty Rattie kept pace with 2 of his own as the Hawks have 2 more games Saturday and Sunday night, with the opportunity to set the team record in points and at least tie the team record in wins (56, also set by the 80-81 team). They currently have 55 wins.

The scoring was opened 11:51 into the first period, when Nic Petan found Leipsic all alone on the backdoor for a beautiful goal. Less then 6 minutes later, Leipsic picked Seattle Defenseman Shea Theodore's pocket, going in on a 2 on 1 break with Ty Rattie, before he buried it short side, beating goalie Danny Mumaugh and making it 2-0 Hawks. Seattle would finally show some life with 19.5 seconds left, when Seth Swenson buried his own rebound on the powerplay,ending the period, cutting the lead to 2-1.

Seattle would shock everyone present when they swiftly tied the score 1:20 into the 2nd period when Portland goalie Brendan Burke mis-handled the puck, leading to Swenson finding Justin Hickman all alone. Portland got that one right back 2:50 into the 2nd when Petan fed Ty Rattie between the faceoff circles for a one timer that got past Mumaugh. Seattle would answer again when Taylor Green won a battle behind the Portland net and got it to over-ager Adam Kambeitz, who banged home his 14th of the year, tying it again at 3. The game would remain tied until 2:01 left in the 2nd when Oliver Bjorkstrand stole the puck from Seattle D-man Jesse Forseberg and burst in on a 2 on 1 break with Preston Kopeck, who he used as a distraction as he buried it on the short side.The Hawks would never trail again.

The 3rd period would be as lively as a lot of 3rd periods in the lopsided years of the Seattle-Portland rivalry. Portland would quickly create some separation in the game when Taylor Peters carried in the puck short-handed, creating space for Brendan Leipsic to receive the puck one-timing it past Mumaugh, making it 5-3. Then at the 12:07 mark, Adam De Champlain threw a hard check near the Seattle bench and was jumped by Seattle captain Luke Lockhart, The fight that commenced carried into the Seattle bench, where Andrew Johnson, after the fight was over threw a hard right across De Champlain's face from the bench. Portland took advantage of the 5 on 3 powerplay scoring twice: first, Rattie got his second when Petan fed him back door. Then Tyler Wotherspoon slapped home his 7th of he year, making it 7-3. Roberts Lipsbergs got one back at the 14:25 mark, but then Joey Baker, became the last Winterhawk to score a goal this year with only 35 seconds left in the game on the powerplay, closing the scoring at 8-4.

Danny Mumauch, in for the suspended Brendan Golver, gave up 8 goals on 36 shots. Burke stopped 31 on 35.

Jesse Forseberg, Luke Lockhart, Mitch Elliot and Justin Hickman all received 10 minute game misconducts late in the 3rd and some of them could be hearing from the league next week.

3 Stars:
Brendan Leipsic
#3- Nic Petan- 3 assists in the game, all of them on beautiful feeds.
#2- Ty Rattie- 2 goals and 1 assist in the game and both goals came from Petan.
#1- Brendan Leipsic- Grabbed ahold of the WHL goal scoring lead with a hat trick in this one, keeping himself one ahead of Rattie.

Random Notes:
-Portland was 3 for 8 on the powerplay, despite not playing their top line for most of the 3rd, when they were getting a lot of pp opportunities.
-Leipsic;s short-handed goal is the 15th one that Seattle has given up this season.
-Taylor Leier and Seth Jones were both healthy scratches as coach Travis Green is going to rest a few players before the playoffs start.
-Preston Kopeck was bumped up to the 2nd line, in Leier's place and played really well, seeming to mesh with Bjorkstrand and Chase De Leo.
-Things could get harry in Seattle tomorrow night as the Hawks are playing the 2nd of aback to back with Seattle.
-Prince George lost to Kamloops 5-2, meaning that they are eliminated from the playoffs. Portland will play either Seattle or Everett in the first round.
-Everett remains 3 points back of Seattle, losing to Victoria 4-1.
-Leipsic now has 48 goals and 118 points, leading the league in both. Rattie has 47 goals and Petan has 115 points.

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