Balancing Act…

“We shall call you Cygnus, the God of Balance you shall be…”

– Rush, Hemispheres (1978 – Lyrics by Neil Peart)

The topic of “balanced scoring” has been brought up more than a few times when Todd Vrooman and I are doing our pre-game and post-game shows and the balanced scoring was never more evident than in the Portland Winterhawks 6-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday night.

The Hawks got six goals, from six different players, and nine assists, from nine different players in the win.  Add it up and you get points from 15 different players with no one garnering more than a single point.

Despite falling behind (again) after one period, the Hawks blew it open in the second period, with the back-breaker goal being scored by Stefan Schneider (pictured above, courtesy of Mick White at on a wrist shot that bounced in off of Calvin Pickard’s blocker to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead.  They’d add two more and not look back for their 10th victory in a row over Seattle.

Mac Carruth made his sixth straight start and continues to perform well, now going 4-1-1-0 during that span.  In addition, the power play that has been streaky all season, is streaking in the right direction, going seven for the last 27 in the past five, a 25.9% rate.

Nino Niederreiter now has goals in his last four games and his deft little move in front of the net to score on Saturday was a thing of beauty.

Now…the Hawks face their nemesis this season, the Tri City Americans, on Wednesday night at the Memorial Coliseum.  The Hawks are 0-6 against the Ams in 2009-10 and they will look to break that skid.  Tri City became the first team to clinch a playoff spot when the Hawks knocked off Seattle on Friday night.

Portland was able to successfully exorcise the demons by beating the Vancouver Giants twice in the past month (after dropping 13 straight to them), can they do the same against Tri City on Wednesday?  We’ll see…hopefully you’ll be there to watch as the Hawks look to clinch their first playoff spot in four years…game time is 7:00.

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