Winterhawks blank Cougars
Scoring once in each period and getting another steady performance from goalie Joel Hofer, the Portland Winterhawks beat the Prince George Cougars 3-0 on Tuesday in Western Hockey League play at CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia.
Portland's top line produced the goals. Seth Jarvis had a goal and two assist and Reece Newkrik and Jake Gricius had a goal and assist apiece for Portland.
Hofer made 23 saves to earn his third shutout of the season. The goalie's night was quiet for 40 minutes. He made 12 of his saves in the third period, when Prince George created several chances off of some sloppy play by Portland.
At 17-6-1-2 (37 points), the Winterhawks have the most points in the U.S. Division and in the Western Conference. They moved two points ahead of idle Everett, which has played two fewer games.
The Cougars are 6-18-0-2 (14 points), at the bottom of the B.C. Division.
Gricius scored his 11th of the season 34 seconds into the third period, putting the puck into an open net off Jarvis' second assist of the night.
Jarvis scored his 11th of the season 7:50 into the second period at the end of a quick up-ice play on the power play. The play started with goalie Joel Hofer making a quick up-ice pass to Reece Newkirk on the right wall. Newkirk's cross ice pass found a pinching Johnny Ludvig, whose quick shot was redirected by Jarvis in front.
Portland was dominant in the first period, outshooting Prince George 15-5, but led only 1-0 thanks to some strong play from Prince George goalie Taylor Gauthier who stopped 14 shots in the first 20 minutes. Gauthier had no chance on a one-timer from the slot by Newkirk, who turned a smart feed from Seth Jarvis into his eighth goal of the season at the end of a quick up-ice rush.
Portland finished 1 for 2 on the power play and was not called for a penalty. Gauthier played a strong game to keep the score close, finishing with 30 saves.
Tuesday's game was the first of four in a row this week between the Winterhawks and Cougars. They play again on Wednesday in northern British Columbia before moving to Portland for games Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
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