Back To The Future…

The Portland Winterhawks have scored 18 goals in their last two road games – a 10-5 win over Spokane and an 8-2 win over Seattle on Saturday.  Those two offensive explosions sandwiched the first shutout of the season on Friday night, losing 5-0 to the Tri-City Americans.

So, being the numbers geek that I am, I wanted to know when the last time the Winterhawks had scored at least 18 goals in two consecutive road games in their 35 year history.  Well, the verdict is in and it has been over 20 years since they had accomplished that feat.

In their history, the Hawks had scored at least 18 goals in two consecutive road games 12 times prior to this latest onslaught.  The last time was back in the 1988-89 season – a 12-3 win in Saskatoon on 11/29/88 and a 13-6 loss at Prince Albert on 11/30/88.

The 18 goals scored matches the third highest two-game road outbursts in team history, a feat done seven times previously.  The Hawks had scored 19 goals in two consecutive road games on three times, 20 goals once and the team record for goals scored in two consecutive road games was set on 12/6 and 12/7/85 when the Hawks hammered Brandon 12-4 and then followed that up the next night by crushing Moose Jaw 12-2 for a two-game total of 24.

The Wheat Kings and Warriors would get their revenge almost exactly five years later when they would beat Portland on consecutive nights by margins of 14-4 and 14-1 respectively on 12/7 and 12/8/90…I bet Scooter had fun with those two road calls…ouch!

The Hawks are now off until Saturday when the Chilliwack Bruins invade the MC for “Pink the Rink” night.  That game is nearly a sellout already, so get your tickets now if you haven’t done so.

With the break between games, it will allow the Spokane Chiefs and Tri City to make up some games in hand on Portland in the standings.  Both are facing injury questions to goaltenders as James Reid has missed a few weeks of games and is still listed as week-to-week with a hip injury.  Drew Owsley left the Americans game in Spokane on Saturday with an apparent knee injury.  No word on how long he will be out, but Tri-City has recalled Cam Gorchynski to fill in as a back-up to Chris Driedger in the interim.

By Saturday, the Hawks may have clinched a playoff spot as they sit at 79 points, which is the maximum that both the Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds could reach if they went undefeated the rest of the regular season.  Kamloops host Tri-City tomorrow night and then travels to Edmonton on Friday.  Seattle is off until Friday when they travel to Vancouver.  Should both teams lose (either in regulation or in OT or a shootout) any of those games, the Hawks will have clinched the first playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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