Winterhawks beat Seattle, win first of the season


Luke Schelter’s first WHL goal gave the Portland Winterhawks the lead in the third. Portland was back halfway through the second period but scored the last three goals of the game.

Why the Winterhawks Won: The Power Game. There are still many questions for the Winterhawks about how they’ll score with even strength, and Schelter’s goal was only the third of the season for Portland with even strength. But they went 2 for 6 in the power play, both big goals. James Stefan gave them the lead in the 1st period, and then Aidan Litke scored his second WHL goal in the 2nd period, 44 seconds after the Thunderbirds took the lead.

Why the Winterhawks won: Clay Hanus continues a strong start to the season with two points, including the game-defeating void net, and was not hit on any goal. The 20 year old now has 5 points in 4 games.

Why the Winterhawks won: Goalie Lochlan Gordon made his WHL debut. He stopped 28 of 30 to win a match with Seattle goalkeeper Thomas Milic. One of the better starts we’ve seen a Portland backup goalie in a while.

Why the Winterhawks won: Portland’s fourth line comes through late. With three and a half games very ineffective, especially defensively, they won the 3rd from Schelter, starting with a steal from Kyle Chyzowski and a good job from Marcus Nguyen.

Why the Thunderbirds Lost: Discipline. They took punishments when the power play was the leading cause of Portland’s offenses. Lucas Ciona and Matthew Rempe, two of Seattle’s best players, shot penalties that destroyed Seattle’s power plays before they could begin. Ciona took three minors with her. It kept the Thunderbirds from doing a lot.

Why the Thunderbirds lost: Their big guns didn’t fire. Rempe and Ciona each had only one shot apart from the penalty shoot-out. Conner Roulette scored one goal but only got 3 shots and didn’t have much effect. Their defenders were goalless.

What it means: For Portland, we know more on Sunday. They took the win, but their game still doesn’t seem quite there. You miss Seth Jarvis. If they beat Spokane, that game was part of a successful weekend. If you lose, the questions remain.

9:04 POR (pp) James Stefan (Cross Hanas, Clay Hanus) 1-0

27:39 SEA Mekai Sanders (Jared Davidson) 1-1

30:02 SEA Conner Roulette 1-2

30:46 POR (pp) Aidan Litke (James Stefan, Tyson Kozak) 2-2

51:35 POR Luke Schelter (Marcus Nguyen, Kyle Chyzowski) 3-2

58:23 TW (at) Sand Hanus 4-2

Sunday vs. Spokane, 5 p.m.

Saturday vs. Tri-City, 6 p.m.

Next away game: Friday, October 29th. at Everett, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Wednesday, November 3rd in Kamloops, 7 p.m. (trip to Canada?)