Winterhawks make it six in a row
Goals from five players sent the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-2 win over the Regina Pats on Wednesday in Western Hockey League play at the Brandt Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Portland won its sixth game in a row, improving to 25-11-3-2 (55 points).
Regina is 12-28-1-1.
Jake Gricius had a three-point night for the Winterhawks, and defenseman Clay Hanus had a goal and assist. Joachim Blichfeld scored his league-leading 38th goal, and Jared Freadrich and Jaydon Dureau also scored.
Gricius and Hanus each had a goal and assist in the first period to help Portland to a 2-0 lead.
Gricius opened the scoring at 8:15 with his 18th goal of the season. Coming off the bench with Portland in control in the Regina zone, Gricius scored from in close off a feed from behind the net by Robbie Fromm-Delorme.
In the final seconds of the first period, Hanus scored his fifth goal of the season on a shot from the left point. He had time to line up the shot after Gricius dropped a pass to him.
Blichfeld made the score 3-0 56 seconds into the second period. After Pats goalie Dean McNabb made a couple tough stops, Cody Glass won a puck battle behind the net and Ryan Hughes was able to push a loose puck to Blichfeld in front.
A rebound goal for Austin Pratt put the Pats on the board with 1:18 left in the second period.
Freadrich, who started his WHL career with Regina in 2015-16, made the score 4-1 at 2:51 of the third period. The defenseman skated into the slot and finished a pass delivered by Mason Mannek from behind the net for his sixth goal of the season.
A one-timer from the left point by Regina defenseman Liam Schioler at 8:15 of the third period got the Pats within two goals.
Dureau, a native of nearby White City, Saskatchewan, iced the win with his 10th goal of the season. It was an empty-net goal with 2:16 remaining after the Pats had some good offensive zone possession with their net empty and an extra attacker on the ice.
Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play.
Portland outshot Regina 35-26. Winterhawks goalie Shane Farkas made 28 saves for his 24th win of the season.
McNabb had a strong game for Regina, keeping the game close with several difficult saves among his 30 stops.
Next on the Winterhawks' swing through the East Division is a 5 p.m. PT Friday visit to Prince Albert. The Raiders (35-5-0-1) have the best record in the league and are the top-rated team in Canadian junior hockey, though they lost at home Wednesday to Seattle.
The WHL trade deadline is 1 p.m. PT Thursday.
Goalie Joel Hofer, the St. Louis Blues prospect acquired by the Hawks in a Wednesday trade that sent six bantam draft picks to Swift Current, is expected to join Portland before the game at Prince Albert.
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)