The first slump of the season for the Portland Winterhawks continued last night at the MC as the Kootenay Ice skated to a 5-3 win to extend the Hawks winless streak to four games, a stretch where the Hawks are 0-2-0-2.
I was impressed with the Ice as they played a very workmanlike road game, waiting for opportunities and cashing in on them when they got the chances. Portland has been guilty of far too many neutral zone turnovers and that led directly to a couple goals last night on transition rushes.
Ryan Johansen led the way for Portland offensively with 1 goal and 1 assist, but the offense continues to create chances but the finish just hasn’t been there during the four games where the Hawks have scored just nine goals. The team seems to be going through a stretch where they pass when they should shoot or shoot when they should pass. It happens…all teams go through streaks like this at some point during the season.
Kevin King scored twice for the Ice, the first goal to tie it early in the first and the empty netter to seal the win. Matt Fraser and Brayden McNabb each chipped in two assists and I was impressed with the Reinhart brothers, Max and Sam. Nathan Lieuwen is a solid goaltender and his save on Oliver Gabriel’s penalty shot attempt early in the second period was the turning point in the game. If Gabriel scores to tie the score, the outcome could have gone the other way.
The stretch doesn’t get any easier for the Hawks as they host the red hot Tri-City Americans tomorrow night and then back-to-back road games in Spokane on Saturday and Wednesday.
Later today I’m going to post some power play statistics that I found interesting…stay tuned for that.
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