Glass, Winterhawks bury Thunderbirds
Several Portland players enjoyed milestones on Friday as the Winterhawks skated to an impressive 8-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Western Hockey League play at Moda Center.
Cody Glass scored a hat trick to reach 100 points on the season and Skyler McKenzie scored his 100th WHL goal in the win as Portland scored four times in the second period and four more in the third.
The win kept alive Portland's chance of winning the U.S. Division. The Winterhawks (44-21-1-4, 93 points) have clinched no worse than second in the division.
Everett can clinch the division with a win or overtime/shootout loss in its final game on Saturday at Victoria. If Victoria wins that game, the Winterhawks can win the U.S. Division and be the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with wins in their final two games.
The Winterhawks play on Saturday at Kent, Washington, against Seattle. That 6 p.m. game will be televised on KRCW (channel 32, cable channel 3). They complete the regular-season at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Moda Center against Spokane.
Portland will open the playoffs with home games at 6 p.m. on March 24 and at 5 p.m. on March 25, both at Memorial Coliseum.
Glass scored twice in the second period, including the go-ahead goal. Glass also assisted on the first Portland goal, a rocket by Henri Jokiharju that tied the score 1-1 4:46 into the period.
Glass put Portland ahead at 10:01 of the second with a power-play goal. He skated off the left-wing boards, circled around some traffic and put the puck home over a sprawling goalie Liam Hughes.
Kieffer Bellows' 40th goal of the season made it 3-1. Ryan Hughes entered the zone and got the puck to Clay Hanus who skated through the left-wing faceoff circle and slid a pass across the goal mouth for Bellows to finish off on the back door.
The second Glass' goal of the night mirrored his first. After Hanus and Skyler McKenzie battled below the goal line, the puck found Glass who skated out of the left corner, circled through the crease and again out-waited the Seattle goalie and put the puck into an open net.
McKenzie's 100th career goal came in the third period and made it 5-1. Glass won a faceoff in the right-wing circle and the puck found McKenzie near the top of the circle and he was able to fire it home at 3:47 of the third period.
After Seattle's Sami Moilanen scored, Reece Newkirk scored the eighth goal of his rookie season, re-directing a pass from Bellows under the pads of Liam Hughes.
Brendan De Jong scored his sixth goal of the season to make it 7-2, with Ryan Hughes setting up the chance.
Moments later Glass and McKenzie skated into the zone and Glass was able to find space to wrist the puck past Dorrin Ludig, who replaced Liam Hughes after the De Jong goal.
Bellows finished with a goal and two assists, Hanus and Ryan Hughes had two assists apiece for Portland.
Nolan Volcan put Seattle ahead 1-0 at 17:44 of the first period. Moilanen and Samuel Huo scored third-period goals for the Thunderbirds (33-27-1-4, 63 points). Seattle, fifth in the U.S. Division, has clinched a wild-card playoff berth.
Cole Kehler improved to 30-15-1-4 with 24 saves.
For Seattle, Liam Hughes played a strong game despite giving up seven goals making 32 saves, including multiple stops that denied premier Portland scoring chances.
The hat trick was the second of Glass' career. Glass has 37 goals and 63 assists for his 100 points.
McKenzie has 46 goals this season after scoring 42 last season. He scored four goals in his second season and scored four times in his 16-year-old rookie season.