Solid, Simple Win…

It wasn’t a masterpiece of hockey excitement at the Rose Garden last night, but it was sure nice to see.

In a very workmanlike effort, the Portland Winterhawks shutout the Everett Silvertips 2-0 behind 23 saves of Ian Curtis and more production from the line of Brad Ross/Ryan Johansen/Nino Niederreiter.

Nino’s first period goal, on a pretty give and go pass play between Johansen and Ross to set it up, would stand up as the winner and Ross would take a deflected pass off an Everett skate in the third to provide the insurance marker in the third.

Everett looked like a team playing their third game in three nights and didn’t seem to want to play with much grit and the Winterhawks did a nice job shutting down the ‘Tips top forwards, giving them very little opportunities in the offensive zone.

The checking line of Riley Boychuk/Stefan Schneider/Seth Swenson did their job by shutting down Byron Froese/Kellan Tochkin/Tyler Maxwell, and Everett Head Coach Craig Hartsburg split the trio up in the second period and sat Froese for a large portion of the middle period.

Swenson, who came in with gaudy offensive numbers in midget hockey, is showing that he can play in all areas on the ice as a 16 year old and has come close on a few occasions lately on notching that elusive first WHL goal.  I think it happen in the near future

What can you say about Stefan Schneider?  He does all the things necessary to be just a dominant, shut-down type forward and he creates scoring chances to boot.  His character and team attitude are infectious and its hard to believe that he is where he is at after starting last season as a number 6 or 7 defenseman after being acquired from Vancouver.  With all that has gone right with the Hawks since Mike Johnston and his regime have been in Portland, Schneider’s story just might be the best one.

Lastly, while Ian Curtis’ 44 save performance on Tuesday in Everett was the more impressive effort, it was great to see Ian get his first shutout on home ice and second of the season.  He deserved the first star after being snubbed for his effort in Everett earlier in the week.

There is a lot of talk about goaltenders and statistics, but only one statistic matters to me and that is Ian Curtis’ 11-4-0-1 record…a .719 winning percentage.

The Hawks are now 11-2-0-1 against teams not named the Tri City Americans in the U.S. Division…

Next up, Spokane on Wednesday and then two home games against Swift Current and Tri City at the Rose Garden before the holiday break…

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  1. Those are my fav. kind of wins!

  2. I’m just giddy at this point of the season. !!!!! Happy Holidays Andy !

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