Tayler Jordan, a native of Wynyard, SK, got the scoring going for Portland in the first period and it was great to see Jordan get a goal in front of his family at the game.
For the second straight game, Mac Carruth allowed two goals on his first four shots faced, but he was lights out after that, stopping all 40 of the next 40 shots to get his eighth victory of the season in net for Portland.
Brendan Leipsic got the game winner on a deflection of a Troy Rutkowski entry shot and provided a chance for some ribbing from his teammates after celebrating the goal by himself into the corner when the other two forwards on the ice went to celebrate with Rutkowski. It was quite funny to see, but the goal was huge to give the Hawks the lead early in the third.
I don’t know how many of the 36 shots Portland put on net tonight were off the stick of Nino Niederreiter, but it had to be close to 10. Nino said to me after the game, “I just couldn’t buy one tonight”, but he still had the same smile on his face as the team had won the game, and that is what this team is about. As cliche’ as it sounds, all for one and one for all.
I will give the Swift Current Broncos a ton of credit…they were missing a lot of veterans out of the lineup, including Cody Eakin, and they battled tooth and nail for everything tonight and made Portland work for everything. They have nothing to hand their heads about after this one.
Some other statistical items…this was the first win for the Winterhawks in Swift Current since February 9, 1996…a span of nearly 15 years. That night, the Hawks won 9-5.
Also, with the win…the Hawks have now earned 1,001 points on the road in their history.
A few pics from tonight…
The Regina Pats are up next…Wednesday night from the Brandt Centre…tape delayed broadcast on Freedom 970 starts at 6:00 PM.