Medicine Hat edges Winterhawks
In a Sunday game highlighted by strong goaltender play, the Medicine Hat Tigers emerged with a 2-1 Western Hockey League win over the Portland Winterhawks before 8,008 fans at Moda Center.
Ryan Chyzowski scored in the fifth round of the shootout to decide the game for the Tigers.
Joachim Blichfeld gave Portland a 1-0 lead in the first period, and Medicine Hat tied the score with a shorthanded goal early in the third period.
Portland picked up one point in the U.S. Division standings, moving to 72 points from a 33-16-3-3 record. The Hawks trail first-place Everett by six points.
Medicine Hat, second in the Central Division, is 31-18-3-2 (67).
The Winterhawks are 1-3 in games decided by a shootout.
Blichfeld scored at 10:23 of the first period, converting a backhander. Jake Gricius won a faceoff, and then Josh Paterson won a puck battle down low and slid a pass to Blichfeld, who scored his 45th goal of the season.
The goal was part of a strong first period for Portland, which created several other scoring chances denied by 6-7 Medicine Hat goalie Mads Sogaard. The Hawks also twice sent shots off the frame of the goal in the first period.
The Tigers had the better of play in the second period, establishing offensive zone possession for stretches as they outshot the Winterhawks 28-16 over the second and third periods.
But the Hawks limited the quality looks for the Tigers, who took advantage of a two-on-one shorthanded chance to tie the game 4:36 into the third period. Ryan Jevne scored the goal, flipping a rebound up and over goalie Shane Farkas as Jevne was being pushed into the goalie by a Portland player.
The Winterhawks' power play continued to struggle, going 0 for 4. The Tigers also went 0 for 4.
Farkas had a strong game, with 38 saves, including a pair of big stops in the final seconds of regulation. He also denied the first four Tigers in the shootout before Chyzowski skated in from the left wing and found space under the goalie's pad.
The Winterhawks' five shooters — Blichfeld, Reece Newkirk, Seth Jarvis, Jake Gricius and Cross Hanas — could not beat Sogaard, who had 32 saves, including four in overtime.
Portland next plays on Saturday at 6 p.m., when Red Deer visits Moda Center.
The Hawks are also home next Sunday for a 5 p.m. game at Moda Center against Seattle.
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