Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winterhawks, Chiefs Exchange OT Wins

The Portland Winterhawks and Spokane Chiefs split a couple of over time games last weekend. One was a tight-checking affair with excellent goaltending and the other was a strange game with some weird goals. The end result of the weekend is that Spokane still clings to a five point lead over Portland for the number three spot in the U.S. Division.

Portland 2 Spokane 1 (OT)
Dominic Turgeon has had a solid year for Portland this season. He has been the Winterhawks' most consistent two-way forward this year, who is known more around the WHL for his solid backchecking then his offensive skills. He showcased those offensive skills Friday night, scoring both goals for Portland in impressive fashion. Turgeon, at the Christmas break now has 36 points in 33 games.

To start the scoring in the first period, Dominic Turgeon came off the wall, spinning from the blue line and walked right in on Spokane goalie Matt Berlin, picking the top corner.Turgeon is a guy, you cannot back off of in your own zone and Hudson Elynuik learned that the hard way as he quit leaning on the Detroit Red Wings' prospect.

Spokane tied the game in the second period on a pretty tic-tac-toe goal. Kailer Yamamoto made a nice zone entry pass to Markson Bechtold who found an open Elynuik, who buried it. Through the first two periods, Portland controlled a lot of the play, but that changed in the third period, where Spokane took over.

The only reason Portland had the chance to come away with two points, was that backup netminder Michael Bullion stood on his head in the third period. The sequence that stood out the most for Bullion was after Portland's Evan Weinger took a poor penalty and put his team on the penalty kill. Bullion was the team's best penalty killer, making several amazing stops on the circling Chiefs, in order to send the game into over time.

In the third over time they have played extra time this season, Portland again came away the victor on an amazing individual effort by Turgeon. Dominic had Spokane defenseman Tyson Helgesen draped all over his back and he still found the strength to go all the way around the net and score a pretty game winner. The OT winner was the first of Turgeon's career. He joins the likes of Keoni Texeira as the players on the team with OT winners on their belt this year.

Portland was 0/3 on the power play and 4/4 on the penalty kill in the game. Backup goalie, Michael Bullion, making only his fourth start of the year, stopped 42 of 43, in earning his second win. This was his best performance this year as he looked far more comfortable between the pipes then he did in his previous start against Tri-City. Spokane's Matt Berlin was also impressive in net as he stopped 33 of 35 for the Chiefs.

F/O %
Texeira 0 0 0 1 - - 31 0
2 0 2 213/3240.6% 1 1 0
Weinger 0 0 0 3 - - 2 1 2
00 040/20%310
Dougherty 0 0 0 2 - - 4 2 0
De Jong0005--100
-Jack Dougherty continues to get better, practically every game. On Friday night he made several solid plays in keeping the puck in at blue line on the power play. He also threw the prettiest hip check you will probably see all year. The hip check takes amazing timing and we've seen him try it a few times and miss, before he connected vs the Chiefs.
-One of the nicest saves that Michael Bullion had to make was off of Texeira's skate. The initial shot, deflected around and the 18-year-old Alaska native made a great right pad save.
-Rihards Bukarts had a two-on-one and he tried to be too fancy instead of just shooting. Bukarts' has high end puck-handling skills and an excellent shot. However, if there is one flaw in his game, it's the fact that sometimes he tries to be too pretty with the puck instead of just making sure it gets on net.
-Turgeon had a two-on-one with Weinger and they both got chances before Turgeon's stick is used "too high" on the puck. Turgeon ending up putting it right through the crease on the play. In looking at the video, it pretty clearly looked like his stick was below the crossbar. Also, insane hand-eye coordination by Turgeon in even getting the shot off.
-Brett Clayton exhibited great work on the cycle and provided good net front presence. If the Winterhawks start trading away assets, I would really like to see how he develops with more ice time. He made really good cerebral play as well in the game. On such play was when he smartly stayed off ice until the left wing he was replacing (Texeira) could clear. If he had been too eager, like a lot of rookies are, the play could have easily been too many men.
-Portland coach Jamie Kompon has been loading up his forward unit, towards end of periods. He's been putting Bukarts and Turgeon on the same line, in much the same way former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma would do with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin..
-One innate skill that Brendan De Jong appears to have is getting pucks on net from point. He scored his first WHL goal last year, by waiting out a shot-blocker in order to get his shot on net and he's been even better at it this season.
-Rookies Tanner Nagel and Ethan McIndoe dropped mitts and had a pretty even fight. The fight was Nagel's first in the WHL.
-Portland's d-men are getting much better at sneaking in from the point and setting themselves up for the back door pass. Caleb Jones set himself up on one such play, but was robbed by Berlin.
-Huge hit on Riley Whittingham by Colton Veloso. While the crowd reacted like it should have been called, it was a very clean hit. Veloso has improved at throwing checks as the year, has gone and has had all-around improvement in his strength and physical play.
-Whittingham, may have been irritated by the Veloso hit, when he threw a hit on Alex Overhardt after the second period buzzer. He gave Portland a power play to start the period, by taking the dumb penalty.

Spokane 5 Portland 4 (OT)
-It was the opposite of the previo
us night as the game opened up and all kinds of weird looking goals occurred. Michael Bullion again made the start in net, making rumors of the heavily used Adin Hill being injured or on the trading block, circulate.

Portland opened the scoring in the first period and it was  familiar face that did it. Spokane, rookie d-man Dalton Hamaliuk fanned on a clearance pass and Rihards Bukarts, happily picked his pocked and walked in on Spokane goalie Tyson Verhelst and scored. Portland walked out of the second period with a 2-0 lead after Jack Dougherty's point shot on the power play hit traffic and Alex Schoenborn retrieved the puck, finding Bukarts open in the slot. The Latvian overage forward sniped it past Verhelst for his second of the night.

Spokane was fired up to start the second period and were buzzing all around the Portland net. Kailer Yamamoto put home the rebound of a Markson Bechtold shot and the Hawks' lead was cut to one. The comeback was completed after Tyson Helgesen banked the puck off of  Bullion and into the net. Spokane scored the goal with an extra attacker as Portland had been called on a delayed penalty.
Portland again got things going as a great Bukarts feed found Cody Glass in alone. Verhelst made a highlight reel save on Glass, but Evan Weinger put home the rebound on a backhand from an impossible angle. Spokane tied it up again as Markson Bechtold fired a very stoppable slap shot off of Bullion and ultimately past him.
The Winterhawks again answered in this back-and-forth game as Bukarts snagged a loose puck off a blocked shot and fired it past Verhelst for his second hat trick in just over a week.

Portland appeared to be sewing up the win and getting a huge four points out of the weekend. Unfortunately for them, their best defenseman lost his cool.
In a battle with a Spokane forward in front of the Hawks' net with under a minute to play, Dougherty retaliated for a shot he received, throwing the player to the ice in view of the referee. He was immediately whistled for a two minute and the game's results immediately swung.

First, Spokane used the Dougherty penalty to turn a five-on-five (even with the goalie pulled) into a five-on-four and they were able to scre the game-tying goal with only eight seconds left.
Spokane scored the goal off of a second effort Markson Bechtold faceoff win back to overage defensmean Jason Fram. Fram fired a seeing-eye shot from he point that  Bullion did not see in time and the two team's went to extra-time for the second straigh night.

In overtime, Spokane used their power play off of the Dougherty penalty to win the game. With a four-on-three power play, Kailer Yamamoto found an open area and waited Bullion out before picking the top corner on him and winning the game.

Bullion was decidedly less impressive in this game, stopping 27 of 32 shots, while Verhelst got his first win over Portland this season, stopping 27 of 31 shots/ Portland's power play was 1/4 and is now 31/144 on the season for 21.5% and eighth in the WHL.Meanwhile, their PK was 3/4 and is now 118/143 for 82.5% and seventh in the WHL.

F/O %
Texeira 0 0 0 1 - -
- -
0 1 1 3 16/2857.1% 1 0 0
Weinger 1 0 1 1 - - 4 0 0
00 02--3-2
Dougherty 0 1 1 2 - - 6 1 -
De Jong0001--130
-Dougherty is starting to get more respect for his shot as Spokane overplays him on Portland's power play.
-Brendan De Jong has made it somewhat of a habit of selling out too much on the poke check. Spokane nearly scored on a situation where his stabbing allowed a Spokane forward to walk around him.
-Tanner Nagel has found a niche on the team by throwing big checks. Unfortunately he needs to keep his head up more, because he is susceptible to taking them as well.
-Markson Bechtold is a very good face off guy. I feel like he is probably one of the more underrated centers in the league.
-Alex Overhardt made a terrible decision to drop a pass to a pinching De Jong and misses him. He has to hit the pinching d-man with a pass like that or at the very least throw it in front of him towards the net. If he does not, like in Saturday's game., the pother team usually has a break the other way.
-Good work by Skyler McKenzie in going to tough area and paying the price. He drew a  penalty in this game and will continually do so the more he does this.
-Michael Bullion took a shot to the head. It was either a stick or the puck. He seemed pretty shaken up by it and was not as stellar after taking the shot. Not that I am blaming the late goals on him, but he definitely seemed affected.
-There was a scary collision as rookie Chiefs' forward Ethan McIndoe was accidentally undercut by Colton Veloso. He left the game but no penalty was called because I don't think Veloso even saw him coming.
-Dominic Turgeon nearly put the game away as he received a terrific outlet from Blake Heinrich, late in the game with Portland up by one, but he hit the post.

Winterhawks News and Notes:
-Rodrigo Abols and Team Latvia walked away with the best record in the U-20 World Junior Division 1 Group A. That means that Latvia will play in the 2017 World Juniors in Toronto next year. They will replace the team who finishes last in this years tournament in Helsinki, Finland. Abols, unfortunately will not be a member of that Latvian team as he will be an overage next year.
Abols was an assistant captain for Latvia and played on their top line with Haralds Egle of the Madison Capitals in the USHL (committed to University of Vermont, starting in 2016) and Martins Dzierkals of Rouyn-Niranda in the QMJHL. 

Latvia went 5-0 in the tournament and Abols factored in the scoring in four of the five Lativa wins. First, he assisted on a goal in a 5-3 Latvia win over Kazakhstan. He then scored the shoot out winner in a 2-1 win over Norway. He also scored twice in a 4-1 win over Germany and added a third goal in a 3-0 victory over Italy. As you get credit for the shoot out winner, he ended the tournament with four goals and one assist for five points (tied for seventh in overall scoring). However, his four goals placed him third behind Aikhan Asetov of Kazakhstan and Henrik Knold of Norway. Abols' 51.02 face off percentage placed him 12th overall at the tournament.
Abols should be back in the lineup for the December, 27th game against Tri-City.

Winterhawks Prospect News:
-Kieffer Bellows was one of the first three cuts for Team USA at World Juniors' camp. As he is a 1998 born player and has two more years of eligibility, look for him to make the team next year. Ryan Collins is still on the roster and as there is only one more d-man to be cut, he very well could make the final roster.
-Meanwhile, Fredrik Olofsson appears to have made the final Team Sweden roster.

                                                           Winterhawks in the NHL:
-Braydon Coburn had an assist in a Tampa 5-3 loss to Washington.
-Sven Baertschi had his third goal on the year and added an assist in 4-3 shoot out win over Detroit for Vancouver. Jannik Hansen also had an assist in the victory.
-Brandon Dubinsky scored the shootout winner for Columbus in a 3-2 win over Philadelphia. Dubinsky added an assist in the victory.
-After a torrid start, Cody McLeod's offensive game for Colorado, has cooled off drastically. His assist that he notched in a 5-1 win over Edmonton, was his first point since November, 23rd.
-Jannik Hansen stepped up in the absence of Henrik Sedin for Vancouver, scoring once and adding an assist in a 5-4 shoot out loss to Florida. Sven Baertschi also scored again for goals in consecutive games (first time he's done this since April 13th and 15th of 2013 with Calgary).
-Ryan Johansen notched his 19th assist on the year, but Columbus fell to Pittsburgh in a battle of rivals 5-2.
-Nino Niederreiter scored the goal to cut the Dallas Stars' lead to one at 4-3, but they pulled away from Minnesota to win 6-3. Nino had an assist as well to finish with two points.
-Cody McLeod had an assist in a wild affair as Colorado lost to Toronto 7-4.
-Sven Baertschi now has a three-game goal scoring streak as he scored in Vancouver's 2-1 win over Tampa Bay.
-Nino Niederreiter had an assist for Minnesota as the took down Montreal 2-1.
-Colton Sceviour had his first goal for Dallas since November 12th and the Stars shut out Chicago 4-0.

Winterhawks in the AHL:
-Three more assists in a 7-4 Utica win over Springfield. Craig Cunningham had a goal in his return to the AHL, after having been sent back down again, recently. Cam Reid made his debut for Utica in the game, as he was signed out of Reading of the ECHL. He had an assist in his first AHL game since a one-game stint with Lehigh Valley the day after Thanksgiving.
-Taylor Leier's eighth goal of the season for Lehigh Valley, started a come back that ended with a 6-4 Phamtoms' win over Hershey.
-In a match up of the two teams with the best records in the entire AHL, Toronto took down Wilkes Barre/Scranton 4-3 in the shoot out. Derrick Pouliot scored his fifth goal of the year in the loss.
-The Toronto Marlies kept on rolling as they took down Hershey 6-2. Brendan Leipsic had a goal and an assist in the win. He will be asked to play more tough minutes for the Marlies as leading scorer William Nylander leaves the team to play for Team Sweden at the World Juniors.
-Goal and an assist for Craig Cunningham as Springfield beat Providence 4-2. He has 15 points in 19 games, despite going back and forth to th NHL, three times already this year.
-Taylor Leier had an assist and Jason LaBarbera stopped 30 of 32 shots, but Lehigh Valley fell to Binghamton 2-1.
-Ty Rattie had an assist for Chicago as they defeated Rockford 4-3. Rattie now has 19 points this year.
-Chase De Leo notched his first professional hat trick and Manitoba still fell to Milwaukee 7-5. Nic Petan assisted on two of De Leo's goals and had three assists total. In the win, Taylor Aronson notched another assist.
-Oliver Bjorkstrand had an assist in a 4-3 Lake Erie loss to Charlotte.
-Ty Rattie had an empty netter and added an assist as his Chicago Wolves beat the Manitoba Moose 4-1. Nic Petan had an assist in the loss.
-Taylor Aronson had a goal and an assist for Milwaukee as they took down Rockford 6-2. Aronson now has three goals and 12 assists for 15 points, which is tied for 18th overall in the AHL.
Winterhawks in the ECHL:
-Thomas Frazee had two assists for Atlanta as they defeated Kalamazoo 3-1.
-Two points for Tristan King as Allen took down the Taylor Peters-less Idaho Steelheads.
-William Wrenn notched an assist and Alaska beat Rapid City 5-2.
-Miles Koules got back on the stat sheet after a 17 game absence, with an assist in a 5-3 Quad City win over Wheeling.
-Another assist for Thomas Frazee as Atlanta swept the weekend series with Kalamazoo by beating them 5-3 Saturday.
-A big win for Mac Carruth as he stopped 44 of 45 shots in a 2-1 Indy Fuel win over Evansville. This was his second game this year of 45 or more saves.
-Daniel Johnston had one assist and Patrick Wellar had two as Alaska swept the weekend series with Rapid City by beating Rapid City 4-1 Saturday.
-Mac Carruth came on in relief of starter Shane Owen, with Indy and Toledo tied at three. He gave up one goal on eight shots and was handed the loss as it was the game winner.
-Another assist for Miles Koules as Quad City lost to Missouri 4-2.
-Two more assists for William Wrenn but Alaska fell to Rapid City 3-2. Wrenn now has 17 assists on the year which is tied for sixth best in the ECHL.

No comments:

Post a Comment