Portland Winterhawks Complete 3-2 Comeback Versus Kamloops Blazers

Photo Credit: Matthew Wolfe

Fortune smiles upon the Winterhawks once more as they defeated the Kamloops Blazers last night by a score of 3-2. The win extends the Winterhawks win streak to eight games in a row. Portland is also now 3-0 against the Kamloops Blazers this season.

The match at Veterans Memorial Coliseum saw the Kamloops taking an early advantage. At 13:27 in the first period, the Blazers would strike. Kyle Masters would create the opportunity by cutting through the middle of the defense. After running out of space, Masters would turn and center a pass that would deflect off of Logan Stankoven, and find Matthew Seminoff. Seminoff would whip a shot that would ring off the iron. However, upon replay review, Semioff’s shot hit the crossbar at the back of the net! Meaning that the Blazers would take a 1-0 lead.

Then with just over six minutes remaining, Kamloops power-play went to work. A few tap passes at the point would set up a shot for Kyle Masters at the point. With numerous bodies being in the way, Masters shot would deflect off Daylan Kuefler before Portland’s netminder Jan Špunar could track it down.

With Portland down two goals, the Winterhawks knew they would need to find answers quickly. Luckily, the power-play for Portland would find one answer just before the end of the first period. After a great save by Kamloops goalkeeper Michael Schnattinger,  Josh Zakreski would collect his own rebound and circle behind the net. Then, Zakreski would feed Marcus Nguyen right at the faceoff dot for a wrister that would sneak five-hole on Schnattinger. The Winterhawks would end the period only down one goal.

The second period saw Portland picking up right where they left off. Just two and a half minutes into the period, Robbie Fromm-Delorme would pass to Luca Cagnoni at the top of the zone. Cagnoni would slightly change his angle of attack, and send a shot toward the net. Thanks to a screen in front, Schnattinger was late to find the puck and the Winterhawks would tie the game at 2-2.

The remainder of the second period saw great saves from both Špunar and Schnattinger. By the end of the game, Špunar had faced 34 shots, while Schnattinger had faced 44 shots. With no other scores in the second period and the third period being more defense-focused, the game would need overtime to decide a winner.

Then, at 4:45 into overtime, Jack O’Brien would lead a charge for the Winterhawks. O’Brien would receive a pass and cut through the open ice to move the puck into the attacking zone. After eventually fighting for the puck along the boards behind the net, O’Brien would win the battle for possession and look to the net. O’Brien would spot Ryan McCleary, send a pass around a defender, and connect with McCleary inside the far faceoff circle. McCleary would then rip a shot inside the near post, and past Schnattinger to win the game 3-2 for the Winterhawks.

Portland’s next game is Wednesday, Nov. 23 against the Everett Silvertips with puck drop at 7:05 p.m.