It was a fun night last night at the Rose Garden as the Portland Winterhawks used a four goal third period explosion to knock off a feisty Prince George Cougar roster 7-4.
The biggest numbers on the night though were the 10,558 attendance figure and the 12,178 teddy bears tossed after Ty Rattie’s highlight reel goal in the first period.
If there was a guy who needed that goal, it was Rattie, who has struggled to find the net recently having gone 10 games without a goal. You could almost see the weight lifted off his shoulders as he made his way to the corner to celebrate while the bears rained down from the big crowd.
The Cougars threw everything they had at the Hawks for the first 40 minutes, out-shooting Portland 36-12 through two periods and it it weren’t for some stellar goaltending by Mac Carruth, especially early in the first, it may not have been such a good night for the home team. Carruth was called upon to make seven saves on a 1:30 two-man advantage in the opening five minutes and that set the tone for the night.
In the third period, the Hawks train got rolling with four goals, the biggest of the night being the fifth goal when Riley Boychuk outworked Martin Marincin for a loose puck, setting up Taylor Peters for what would finally give the Hawks a two-goal cushion and after that it was lights out for Prince George.
Joe Morrow and Rattie each had three point nights with 1 goal and 2 assists and the Hawks got goals from seven different goal scorers on the night. The balance will be important during the next stretch with players leaving for various Christmas tournaments.
Next up, the Hawks will host the Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday night at the Rose Garden…no radio on Wednesday, but bring your headsets to the Garden and you can listen to Todd Vrooman and I (minus the bear) on the internal 98.1 FM transmitter.
The scene from the booth: