Winterhawks 1 – Americans 5

The post-Christmas schedule started with a thud for the Portland Winterhawks last night at the Rose Garden as the Tri-City Americans took control in the first period and never looked back, skating away with a 5-1 win.

The same two teams will do battle tonight in Kennewick at 7:00.

An early goal by Brendan Shinnimin gave the Ams the lead and then it was a bad clearing attempt by Oliver Gabriel that allowed for Marcus Messier to get a screened wrist shot home.  Less than a minute later it was Jordan Messier on a wrister to make it 3-0, still in the first period.

Gabriel would score the only Hawks goal late in the first period on an up-ice rush by Seth Swenson.  The Hawks did hit a few posts, but the Americans scored twice more to get the win.

Craig Cunningham didn’t have the greatest debut in a Hawks sweater but it is a lot to ask of a player being traded from a team where he has been for 4 1/2 years and then take the ice shortly after arriving on a plane, having not had any time to get to know his new teammates.

Our broadcast tonight will be on 95.5 The Game FM, the pre-game show starting at 6:40.

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2 Comments

  1. Cunningham will be fine. He just needs to get used to playing with new linemates. I could see his desire to contribute and aura of professionalism he brings with his play. Hopefully that will rub off on the Hawks. Meanwhile, Braydon Low and Adam Smith sure got a baptism of fire as to be expected when playing a rival like Tri Cities. Welcome to the US Division of the WHL, where you can’t ever take a night off. Let’s hope for a better effort tonight.

  2. Cunningham (I’m calling him Opie) skated well, but as you say, was a bit lost on the ice with new teammates. I was impressed a couple of times prior to faceoffs in which he circled the wagons with teammates and was discussing what needed to be done. Seems like a kid that wants to win.

    I’m going to miss Spencer Bennett, though…he was easily the Hawks best penalty killer and a guy that put it all on the ice every shift.


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