For five minutes, the Portland Winterhawks played the game they wanted to, aggressive puck pressure and dominant territorial play…unfortunately they fell too far behind in the first 55 minutes to get the victory, falling to Kamloops 5-4 at the Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops.
The three goals in the final five minutes for Portland made the score appear closer than the game actually was as Kamloops were by far the more aggressive of the two teams on the night despite Portland winning the shot differential by a margin of 34-26 on the night.
It might have been a different outcome if Portland had scored on the second period penalty shot by Brad Ross or on the five-on-three that followed that, but they didn’t and Kamloops earned the victory. Kurtis Mucha was solid, but he didn’t need to be overly spectacular, and made quality stops on Ross’ penalty shot and a few other chances late to get what I’m sure was a big victory for him against his former mates.
First star over Dalibor Bortnak for Mucha was a stretch in my opinion but I don’t get a vote in Kamloops and I’m sure it was selected prior to the three goal outburst by the Hawks.
Taylor Peters looked good in his first game back with the Hawks winning faceoffs and going pretty good work on the penalty kill. He will be asked to do those things with the absence of Jacob Berglund.
Also, Oliver Gabriel continued his strong play since returning from his spleen injury, scoring his second goal of the season on a determined up ice rush. Gabes board play has been outstanding and he is beginning to create chances more and more with board battle wins.
Next up, the injury riddled Kelowna Rockets tomorrow night…pregame show at 6:40 on Freedom 970.
Share this Post