Monday, September 23, 2013

Hawks Run Out of Gas; Lose to Seattle in a Shootout 4-3

In their second game in as many nights and missing 4 players from the lineup, Portland looked sloppy early, recovered in the 3rd period and escaped with a point during a mostly forgettable night in Seattle Saturday.

The Hawk's Defense made countless mistakes in the first and second periods creating odd man rushes and breakaways the other way and putting themselves in a 2-0 hole, which really should have been worse if not for a stellar performance by Brendan Burke.

Burke stopped 37 of 40 in preserving Portland's chance at getting at least one point out of the night. Seattle had all of the energy early in their season opener and were powered by 2 goals by Latvian sniper Roberts Lipsbergs in the 4-3 win.

Observations From the Game:
-Oliver Bjorkstrand ended the weekend tied for the WHL lead in points with another goal, giving him 6 points in 2 games.
-Seattle picked up over-ager Eric Benoit off of Waivers from the Saskatoon Blades before the game and he got into the game, playing a pivotal role as a top penalty killer and power play guy.
-Portland dressed only 11 forwards as Paul Bittner, whom had left Friday's game early, was scratched.
-Portland is getting back Brendan Leipsic, who was sent down by Nashville, but did not receive him in time for the game.
-This meant that Leipsic, Bittner, DominicTurgeon, Shane McColgan and Derrick Pouliot were all missing from the lineup in this one.
-Seattle was missing Shea Theodore, who had just been sent down by the Anaheim Ducks, but did not get to Seattle in time to start the game.
-In Theodore's place, '97 born Ethan Bear was the power play quarterback and did an excellent job, showing potential for the Thunderbirds.
-Seattle was 1/4 on the power play while Portland was 0/5.
-Oliver Bjorkstrand's goal was just seconds after the power play expired in the 2nd  however.
-Ethan Price got his first WHLgoal off of a face-off in which he got a hold of a loose puck and sniped it over Justin Myles' right shoulder. Price has a wicked shot that should only get better for the 16 year old.
-Garrett Haar and Shaun MacPherson were two of Portland's more egregious offenders in the D-men turning the puck over category, but by my count almost all of the Hawk's D-men were offenders.
-Zach Paterson got into his first action of the year, but only skated a few shifts all game as the 7th D-man.
-Layne Viveiros and Keoni Texeira were paired together all game and just did not seem comfortable at all. Adam De Champlain and Presten Kopeck came back and bailed them out on a couple occasions.
-Matthew Barzal and and Branden Troock were successful in the shootout for Seattle, while Burke was able to stop Alexander Delnov. Troock's eventual winner just barely slid over the goal line and past Burke's left pad.
-Nic Petan scored a beauty for Portland in the shootout, while Bjorkstrand and Chase De Leo both failed trying to go five hole.
-Chase DeLeo did score the goal that forced overtime off of a rebound of a Anton Cederholm shot.
-For the second game in a row the Hawks had a goal called back when Bjorkstrand's deflected goal late in the 3rd period, was called back after it was ruled his stick was above the cross bar (this was a good call).

3 Stars:
#3- Oliver Bjorkstrand- 1 Goal and was the best Hawk's skater on the ice. He had the one goal called back and created several more opportunities that were not converted by other Hawk's players (Alex Schoenborn was one of those).

#3- Brendan Burke- One of the only reason the Hawks escaped with one point, as he made saves on 3 different break-aways and several more on odd man rushes. He was hung out to dry by his D-men 6 or 7 times in the first period alone and somehow kept the score at 1-0 Seattle.

#1- Roberts Lipsbergs- Obviously it worked, but I was shocked the Seattle did not send him out for the shootout as he is their most talented forward, in my opinion. However, he dd pot the 2 goals and could have had a couple more if not for Burke.

Portland's next action comes Tuesday at home vs. Tri City.

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