Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Stefan scores six seconds into the game and the Winterhawks move to 4-3

Stefan scores six seconds into the game and the Winterhawks move to 4-3

The Portland Winterhawks beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-3 in a Friday night game in Kent, Washington. Portland survived giving up a 2-goal lead in 20 seconds, and survived a game where they never got any point.

Why the Winterhawks won: The difference in goaltending. Taylor Gauthier, 20 years old, stopped 48 of 51 shots, despite many of them highlighting reel chances. Portland also advantaged of Seattles top goalie Thomas Milic out with Covid protocols.

The Winterhawks won: Their top players put Ratzlaff on hold. They escaped Seattle's forecheck and got behind their defense for some good chances, although this happened less and less as the game progressed. Jaydon Dureau was able to score two assists, both the Tyson Kozak and Stefan scored the first and second goals.

Why the Winterhawks won: They survived a 5-minute penalty and game misconduct to forward Cross Hanas late in the 1st, based on a confrontation with Jordon Gustafson. It might have been unraveled, but Portland lost all five minutes in the 2nd.

Mike Johnston's answer to the Cross Hanas' assault, which resulted in a five-minute penalty check to the head, and a game misconduct.

Article They were shoulder-to-shoulder, but then Gustafson got just a little ahead, and the question is whether a slight crosscheck from Hanas put him into the boards headfirst or if he truly captured an edge. It's not conclusive from the replay either way, so the league will probably back up the officials and Hanas will be suspended.

Why the Thunderbirds lost: They can blame rust (they hadn't played since New Year's Eve), injuries/Covid, and bad luck. And they'd be pretty justified as long as they don't make a habit of it.

What it means: Portland has won within two points of Seattle for his third place in the Western Conference, with two more home games this weekend and Seattle playing Everett.

Portland has had a good schedule, where they have played a ton of games at home and caught good teams in less than ideal scheduling spots. This was one of the teams that came out, but they were only eliminated due to two players who weren't there for that stretch, Gauthier and Dureau.

1:37 POR James Stefan (Gabe Klassen) 1-0Stefan from just outside the high slot.
6:08 SEA (pp) Conner Roulette (Jared Davidson, Kevin Korchinski) 1-1Power play goal from just inside the left dot.
13:24 POR Tyson Kozak (Jaydon Dureau, Marcus Nguyen) 2-1A great pass from Dureau puts Kozak in the clear, and he beats goalie Scott Ratzlaff from just right of the slot.
36:01 POR Tyson Kozak (Jaydon Dureau) 3-1A give-and-go on the rush between Kozak and Dureau. A huge bailout goal at a time Portland was getting outplayed.
45:52 SEA (pp) Jared Davidson (Kevin Korchinski, Conner Roulette) 3-2Similar to their other power play goal, Davidson from the left dot.
46:12 SEA Gabe Ludwig (Lucas Ciona, Nico Myatovic) 3-320 seconds later. The puck gets away from Taylor Gauthier as he tries to pull in a rebound. Dawson Pasternak and James OBrien just stood there watching Ludwig get to the puck and score. Very poor.
60:06 POR (pp) James Stefan (Tyson Kozak) 4-3Stefan takes the faceoff and beats Ratzlaff from the left dot.
Top 10Stat line
Taylor GauthierPOR48 saves-51 shotsThe main reason the Winterhawks won a game they had no business being in.
Jaydon DureauPOR2 assistsThe main reason Portland had any offense at all and didnt have Gauthier facing 60 shots, and he was good on Portlands 7 penalty kills.
James StefanPOR2 goalsSecond consecutive 2-goal game.
Tyson KozakPOR2 goals, 1 assistBoth goals against the run of play when Portland was in trouble.
Conner RouletteSEA1 goal, 1 assistIf this were the top 20 players, youd probably still see Seattle players the whole rest of the way down.
Jared DavidsonSEA1 goal, 1 assist
Kevin KorchinskiSEA2 assists
Gabe LudwigSEA1 goalHustle goal to tie it.
Matthew RempeSEA
Samuel KnazkoSEA
Other notablesStat line
Scott RatzlaffSEA18 saves-22 shotsNot the best spot for him. Hes a 2nd-round pick, hell probably be OK.
Cross HanasPORHe probably gets a suspension.
Henrik RybinskiSEA5 shots, no points: key to Portland winning.
Thomas MilicSEACovid protocol.

Saturday vs. Tri-City, 6pm

Sunday vs. Kamloops, 5pm

Friday at Tri-City, 7pm

Next Saturday vs. Seattle, 6pm

Perspectives: Saturday 1/29 at Seattle, 6pm

You may also like: