Early Goals…Again…

We spent a lot of time talking on the pre-game show last night about the first five minutes of the game and how big they would be for Portland as that has been the biggest trouble for the Hawks when they have played against the Tri City Americans.  It turns out, it was the first five minutes of the second period were the difference last night, with the Ams scoring three times in the opening 2:46 of the middle frame to break open the game and to skate to their eighth victory in nine games against Portland in 2009-10.

Portland had played probably their best period of the season against Tri City in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead on a late power play goal by Nino Niederreiter and out-shooting the Ams 18-9.  But, it took one mis-play at the blue line and 15 seconds in the second period for that twenty minutes to be erased and that was followed by a power play and a video review goal for TC to take the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

After that, the Hawks threw everything at Alexander Pechurskiy but they weren’t able to claw their way back into the game.  The 53 shots for was the second highest amount of the season, eclipsed only by the 59 shots thrown at Kamloops back in October.

Interestingly, the Hawks are 1-1-0-0 (with the win coming in OT) when getting 50+ shots, but are 2-0-0-0 when allowing 50+ shots.

Now…it doesn’t get much easier as the Spokane Chiefs come calling on Friday night in what will most likely be a first round playoff preview.   Portland has had the edge in the season series 5-1-0-1, but hasn’t played Spokane since the snow game on December 29th.

I had a Seattle fan drop me a note a day or so ago with a comment that the Hawks would not be where they were in the standings if they hadn’t beat the Thunderbirds 11 straight times…and, technically, he’s right…the Hawks are 29-24-2-1 in games against teams that don’t play their home games at the ShoWare Center.

But, I reversed it back on him saying that if the Hawks hadn’t lost seven games (now eight) games against Tri City, they would be 39-16-2-1 against every team not named the Tri City Americans.  Didn’t get a response back after that…

In the end, every team plays 72 games and the schedules are, for the most part, evenly balanced.   Some teams just have match-ups that favor them against another team…

That’s it for now…

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  1. Andy,
    I would just like to say that out of all the annoucers I have listen to on the web tv you would have to be the best(besides westie) I mean alot of the games I have watched there is always that annoucer that talks bad about the visting team, but I also have heard 2 years ago Mike Boyle of Spokane talk bad about the americans as a team and also pointed people out because the chiefs were and then started to single out chief players. So, thanks again Andy and I will be at the game on Saturday see you then.

  2. Hawks are obviously lacking confidence playing TC. It is not like they didn’t have chances to score. TC played like it was only a matter of time when the next three goal bursts would come and it did.

    Gabriel and Ross did show some spunk. But not much from anyone else.

    So many chances to scores and so little success.

    Why am I looking at the end of the season to a improving TC, Spokane and Everett, but not the Hawks.

    Unfortunately the Hawks have not grown into the renewed expectations.

  3. As much as the Hawks have improved this year, they still have some work to do. The evidence is watching Tri City break out of their zone. They are so calm, discplined and structured. Everyone has a responsibility in their break out and it definitely shows. Then there’s the special teams play.

    The Hawks have improved a ton over the past year and a half. It is fun to come to games again and have an expectation of winning. Hopefully, they can keep heading in the right direction and eventually be on top looking down at the likes of Tri City, Spokane and Everett soon. But, there is still work to do.

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