The Spokane Chiefs and the Portland Winterhawks continued their “road ice advantage” series on Wednesday night at the Spokane Arena as for the fifth straight game, the road team has come away victorious.
The Hawks got two goals from the Brad Ross/Ryan Johansen/Nino Niederreiter line and Ian Curtis stopped 31 of 33 shots to earn his fifth victory in his last six starts.
Curtis also picked up an assist and a tripping minor to fill out his stat line for the night. He also got a poke in on Spokane forward Kyle Beach after Beach collided with Curtis and the post late in the third period.
The Spokane fans were furious with the non-call after Curtis gloved Beach to the ice, but, if anything, it should have evened up as Beach (for the second time in the game – he was called for diving in the first period) heavily embellished the shove by the Hawks netminder.
Beach took 18 minutes in penalties in the game…exactly 18 more than his 19 teammates combined.
The win sends the Hawks to the 36 game (or halfway mark) of the season with a record of 22-13-0-1 for 45 points.
It was nice, and a bit surprising, to see Oliver Gabriel in the lineup and he played very well after sitting 31 games with the spleen injury that happened in Spokane earlier this season. He made some nice plays with the puck and looked good filling Luke Walker’s spot on the line with Chris Francis and Ty Rattie.
Ditto for Taylor Peters…he played aggressive hockey, throwing body checks and looking good on the penalty kill. He did take two minor penalties, but I thought he was strong in his first game back from the BCHL.
The Hawks have now won three straight in the Spokane Arena…while the Chiefs have won six in a row in Portland…
I will post some halfway mark comparison stats tomorrow afternoon after returning home…
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