Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Portland Ties WHL Record with Win at Victoria 4-1

Portland tied the WHL record for road wins in a season at 28 with a 4-1 win in Victoria on Tuesday night. The Hawks will get a chance to break the record on Saturday night in Seattle.

With the win the Hawks sweep the season series with Victoria 4 games to 0, outscoring them by least 3 goals in each game.

It was Victoria, however, that showed a lot of jump in the first period getting 7 of the first 10 total shots and forcing Hawks starting goalie Mac Carruth to make several big stops.They would open the scoring with 28 seconds left in the opening period, when 19 year old winger Taylor Crunk shot the puck from below the goal line off of Portland Defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon's skate and past Carruth for his 3rd of the year and just his first goal since December 28th 2012.

The Winterhawks would come to life in the 2nd period out-shooting the Royals 17-4 and snapping the twine 4 times.

Ty Rattie, with his 45th of the year, would tie the game when he snapped a shot over Victoria goalie Coleman Vollrath's right shoulder from the left faceoff circle on the powerplay.

Then 10:21 into the period 16 year old Dominic Turgeon scored his 3rd of the year off a nice backdoor feed from enforcer Joe Mahon. Brendan Leipsic, not to be outdone by Rattie made it 3-1 with his 45th of the year, one timing a slick pass from Nic Petan off the rush. To close out the scoring in the period and the game, Taylor Peters would score on a shorthanded breakaway, off a great feed from Taylor Leier.

Portland Interim Coach Travis Green
The  Hawks would predominately send out their 3rd and 4th lines in the 3rd period, content to ice the game. This was tested, however, when Victoria's Logan Nelson picked off a Josh Hanson cross-ice pass and appeared to file it top shelf past Carruth. Portland coach Travis Green, upset by the call, asked it to be reviewed and was rewarded when the replay clearly showed the puck going off the cross bar and out. The goal was dis-allowed, helping the protect the Winterhawk's 3 goal lead to close out the game.

Carruth stopped 20 of 21 shots and Brendan Burke came in to make 5 saves on 5 shots. Coleman Vollrath stopped 40 of the 44 shots he faced.

3 Stars:
#3- Derrick Pouliot- 1 assist and proved he is nearing 100% with several beautiful plays on a 4 on 4 in the 3rd period.
#2- Mac Carruth- Set the tone for the Hawks early with several key stops and his only blemish was off his own team-mate.
#1- Ty Rattie- 1 goal and 1 assist in another multi-point night. Rattie, with the 2 points is now 6th all time in franchise scoring with 342 points.

Random Notes:
-Tyler Wotherspoon, on his 20th birthday was +1, to make him +60 on the year (2nd behind Petan's +64).
-Victoria goalie Patrick Polivka is out for the nest couple weeks with a lower body injury.
-Second night in a row for the Hawks to get 44 shots against the Royals.
-Carruth left after Nelson hit the post, when he appeared to strain something. He was spotted bent over in the tunnel leading to the locker room.
-Seattle wrapped up a playoff spot for the first time in 3 years with an 8-3 win over Tri City.
-Saskatoon came back to beat Edmonton 3-2 in the shootout, in a matchup of the top 2 teams in the East.
-Saskatoon's Josh Nicholls is tied with the Hawks top line(Rattie, Leipsic and Petan) for most goals in the league. All four players have 45 goals.

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