The Portland Winterhawks earned their 30th win of the season this Saturday night thanks to a 5-2 victory against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. This win comes off the back of a 7-6 Overtime win the night before against the Victoria Royals. The Winterhawks are now 30-8-3 on the season. They trail the Seattle Thunderbirds for 1st place in the Western Conference by 3 points.
The first period saw Lethbridge taking the early advantage. The Hurricanes outshot Portland 16 to 13 in the first 20 minutes. On top of that, Lethbridge had the opening goal of the game. Late in the first period, the Hurricanes would find themselves on the power play. Some great passing down low led to Logan Wormald lofting the puck over the leg of Portland goalie, Jan Špunar, to earn the 1-0 lead.
Portland picked up the pace in the 2nd period. The Winterhawks had their own 16-shot period and held the Hurricanes to just 8 shots. Portland also got back to their scoring ways thanks to their power play. After entering the zone, Chaz Lucius would put a shot toward the goal. The puck would kick off the skate of Gabe Klassen in front of the net, right to Robbie Fromm-Delorme for a tap-in goal at 9:54 in the period.
Then, with 7:44 remaining in the period, Portland would score again. The Winterhawks would hold the blue line in the offensive zone. The battle to keep the puck in freed up space for Chaz Lucius to skate. After getting a pass from Marek Alscher, Lucius would move high between the faceoff circles, and fire a wrist shot high blocker side. Lucius’s shot would whip past Lethbridge netminder Harrison Meneghin, and give the Winterhawks the 2-1 lead. The goal was also Lucius’s first as a Winterhawks.
Early in the 3rd period saw a flurry of offensive chances. The Hurricanes found their window back into the game early in the period. Three minutes into the action, a Nolan Bentham shot from the point would be deflected by Tyson Laventure. The shot would careen past Špunar’s blocker side, and tie the game at 2-2.
Luckily for Portland, their power play was on point. The Winterhawks’ power play went back to work with 12:37 left in regulation. James Stefan’s pass from the boards found Gabe Klassen in the middle of all four Lethbridge defenders. Klassen quickly turned and fired a wrist shot, beating Meneghin to give Portland a one-goal lead.
Then, nearly two minutes later, Portland would find an insurance goal. Robbie Fromm-Delorme would send the puck across the ice for Gabe Klassen to bring into the zone. Klassen then drew one defenseman in, allowing Diego Buttazzoni to speed into the vacated space. Buttazzoni would get a pass from Klassen, and be left in a one-on-one with Meneghin. Buttazzoni would make a move to his backhand, and the puck would slide 5-hole on Meneghin with about half the period remaining.
However, it wouldn’t be enough time for Lethbridge. The Hurricanes only managed six shots in the final period of play and would give up an empty net goal to Robbie Fromm-Delorme with just over a minute remaining in the period. The Winterhawks would hold on to win 5-2.
Portland’s next match is a rare Monday afternoon duel with the Spokane Chiefs. Puck drop at Veterans Memorial Coliseum is set for 12:00 p.m. January 23rd.