What: The Portland Winterhawks (7-1-1) take on the Kelowna Rockets (4-6-1) in Western Hockey League action.
When: Saturday, October 29, 6pm.
Where: Memorial Coliseum.
Watch: You can stream the game via the CHL TV pay per view (US$6.10 for one game).
Listen: Winterhawks audio.
The storyline after Friday night’s game should have been the Portland Winterhawks overcoming their sloppiness to pull out a win over the Kelowna Rockets. However, it became a matter of the sloppiness costing them a win after a late collapse that saw the Rockets score two in the last 3-and-a-half minutes to tie the game, and then win in overtime. The gave the Rockets two goals with pucks in front of their net that easily should have been handled, gave up an empty-netter with 5 seconds left, and gave up a losing breakaway in overtime off a missed shot that took a big rebound. The sloppiness was on offense as well, despite taking 45 shots. Their top scorers only registered one point on a James Stefan goal.
On the bright side, with the 45-29 shot margin, the Winterhawks are the only team in the Western Hockey League to outshoot their opponents in every game.
They try to snap a 2-game losing streak in Saturday’s rematch with the Rockets.
|20||11-Robbie Fromm-Delorme (202 games)|
|19||92-Jack O’Brien (149)
13-James Stefan (141)
16-Gabe Klassen (133)
9-Aidan Litke (84)
21-Jonah Bevington (71)
67-Dawson Pasternak (43)
|18||19-Kyle Chyzowski (108)
72-Marcus Nguyen (102)
77-Luke Schelter (87)
|17||28-Josh Zakreski (25)
93-Nicholas Johnson (11)
20-Aiden Sotas (3)
|16||90-Diego Buttazzoni (8)|
Their top forwards will need a better game.
Fromm-Delorme, known more as a 2-way player despite the hot offensive start, is -7 in his last 4 games.
Nguyen scored a shorthanded goal with a nice finish, but took a bad key penalty and missed a game-icing penalty shot.
Leading forwards: Fromm-Delorme (12 points/9 games), O’Brien (10/9), Klassen (8/5), Stefan (8/7), Chyzowski (7/9).
|19||6-Ryan McCleary (99)|
|18||73-Luca Cagnoni (93)
43-Ryder Thompson (91)
26-Marek Alscher (79)
2-Josh Mori (50)
|17||59-Carter Sotheran (9)
14-Rhett Ravndahl (1)
|16||91-Alex Thompson (5)|
It’s McCleary’s 100th game. He had a very good COVID mini-season, but has been hampered by slow starts in both this season and the last one. He had two key mixups with Dante Giannuzzi on Friday which got Kelowna back in the game.
Alscher similarly had a slow start but has goals in 2 straight games and points in 3 straight.
Cagnoni after a big start has gone scoreless 3 games in a row.
Leading defensemen: Cagnoni (8/9), Sotheran (6/9), Alscher (4/7), Thompson (4/8).
|20||74-Dante Giannuzzi (75)|
|18||31-Jan Špunar (3)|
Giannuzzi played well for most of Friday’s game. But an .871 save percentage doesn’t go at all with a 7-1-1 record. One of those will change. With back-to-backs an a tight schedule coming up, Špunar might get this game.
Save percentages: Giannuzzi .871, Špunar .908.
The Rockets stole one from Portland on Friday night, as revenge for the game Portland stole from them in Kelowna in September. Their stars shone in the end, led by Andrew Cristall and his 2 goals and an assist including the winning breakaway. Talyn Boyko, after two poor games since returning from the pros, stopped 44 of 47 for the win.
A 5-minute penalty kill and a power play goal that got them back into the game offset the shorthanded goal to Marcus Nguyen that they allowed in the 2nd. Special teams goals have kept them alive during their 4-6-1 start. They’re in the top 5 in both power play and penalty kill, and they’ve made that extra-meaningful by being above average in creating power plays and avoiding penalty kills. A slew-foot by Noah Dorey that caused that 5-minute penalty kill might cause him to miss this game through suspension, however.
They’re guaranteed a split and are playing with house money.
|20||19-Adam Kydd (159)|
|19||17-Colton Dach (151)
10-Turner McMillen (101)
24-Dylan Wightman (96)
22-Gabriel Szturc (83)
|18||7-Max Graham (98)
21-Nolan Flamand (95)
15-Rilen Kovacevic (71)
|17||28-Andrew Cristall (91)
9-Marcus Pacheco (70)
8-Grady Lenton (10)
18-Ethan Neutens (7)
12-Will Munro (4)
|16||29-Logan Peskett (7)|
It was the top line of Cristall, Szturc, and Kydd that came up big in the 3rd, with Flamand contributing with 2 points and scoring the tying goal in the 6-on-5.
Dach, another star forward, is out with a concussion.
Leading forwards: Cristall (18/11), Szturc (17/11), Kydd (11/11), Flamand (8/11), Kovacevic (6/11).
|19||14-Elias Carmichael (146)
2-Noah Dorey (99)
27-Jackson DeSouza (81)
|18||5-John Babcock (82)|
|17||4-Caden Price (62)
25-Jackson Romeril (4)
|16||3-Ismail Abougouche (10)|
Dorey’s 100th game is in doubt due to possible suspension for his slew foot. That would put the Rockets potentially short on defense with Carmichael having missed two games in a row.
Leading defensemen: Price (9/11), Carmichael (7/9), Dorey (2/11), Babcock (2/11).
|20||31-Talyn Boyko (110)|
|18||30-Jari Kykkanen (22)|
Boyko has played in three straight games since returning. It could be Kykkanen’s turn but their schedule is still pretty light, so they could go either way in goal.
Save percentages: Kykkanen .883, Boyko .898.
|Power plays for/game||3.6||4.8||4.4|
|Power plays against/game||3.9||3.9||4.4|
|After 1 period||6-2-1||2-6-3|
|After 2 periods||6-2-1||4-6-1|
|Score, last 10 games||41-35||31-34|
|Score, last 20 games||65-53||62-74|
|Total WHL games||1672||1659|