It wasn’t pretty, but the Portland Winterhawks gritted out a 5-2 win over the Prince George Cougars last night at the CN Centre. The win, coupled with losses by Everett and Tri City, helped position the Hawks into second in the U.S. Division and closer to the Americans in the race for first overall in the Western Conference.
Luke Walker scored twice, including a penalty shot, in the third period to break it open and give the Hawks their three goal cushion at the end.
The Hawks could have finished this one earlier had they been on target earlier in the game as a number of chances just missed the net on open shots.
Tonight, Ian Curtis will make his first start since stopping 51 shots against the Vancouver Giants on January 24th at the MC. He will face his former team tonight and I can imagine he is eager to get back in game action after Mac Carruth has gone 6-1-1-0 in the last eight games.
With a win tonight, the Hawks can sweep the season series in Prince George for the first time in their history and also reach 20 wins on the road for just the fifth time in team history. The last time the Hawks hit 20+ road wins was in 1997-98 (the Cup year) when they went 23-11-2 away from home.
Last night was a physical affair and I expect tonight to follow that pattern as well. I’m hoping it goes quick so we can load up and head home as early as possible…the weather here is almost springlike and that should make for good roads all the way back to Portland.
I’ve come down with a bit of a cold, but the voice should be fine for the back-to-back and then Monday afternoon against Moose Jaw…
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