What: Portland (10-1-1-1) takes on Spokane (3-10) in Western Hockey League action.
When: Sunday, November 6, 5pm.
Where: Memorial Coliseum.
Watch: You can stream the game via the CHL TV pay per view (US$6.10 for one game).
Listen: Portland and Spokane audio.
A giant two days for Portland. After a midweek stumble against Prince George, they won a home-and-home with favored Seattle. They won with an absolutely shocking special teams advantage in the two games: 16 for 18 (!) on the penalty kill with a key shorthanded goal, and 6 for 9 on the power play. Gabe Klassen continued his goalscoring with 2 on Saturday; he’s one of only two players in the league with more goals than games played.
Their power play has gone to an off-the-charts 34.8%, 6.6 percentage points over the 2nd-place Tri-City Americans (!), a bigger gap than that between 2nd and 10th. And Spokane has the worst penalty kill in the league, so Portland have to be licking their lips if they can get some power plays.
If they win, or even get a point, they’re in 1st place, both in the division and the conference.
|20||11-Robbie Fromm-Delorme (206 games)|
|19||92-Jack O’Brien (153)
13-James Stefan (145)
16-Gabe Klassen (137)
9-Aidan Litke (88)
21-Jonah Bevington (71)
67-Dawson Pasternak (47)
|18||19-Kyle Chyzowski (112)
72-Marcus Nguyen (106)
77-Luke Schelter (91)
|17||28-Josh Zakreski (29)
93-Nicholas Johnson (14)
20-Aiden Sotas (3)
|16||90-Diego Buttazzoni (11)|
Stefan increased his point streak to 5 games. Nguyen has goals in 3 straight.
O’Brien has a 3-game point streak and has been lights-out in preventing his opponents from scoring.
Leading forwards: Fromm-Delorme (18 points/13 games), Klassen (14/9), Stefan (13/11), O’Brien (13/13), Chyzowski (11/13).
|19||6-Ryan McCleary (103)|
|18||73-Luca Cagnoni (97)
43-Ryder Thompson (94)
26-Marek Alscher (83)
2-Josh Mori (53)
|17||59-Carter Sotheran (13)
14-Rhett Ravndahl (3)
|16||91-Alex Thompson (6)|
Two big games in a row for Cagnoni. And McCleary now has a 3-game point streak along with two big defensive games against Seattle.
Leading defensemen: Cagnoni (12/13), Sotheran (8/13), McCleary (5/11).
|20||74-Dante Giannuzzi (76)|
|18||31-Jan Špunar (6)|
Save percentages have pulled even. It’s Giannuzzi’s turn to start.
Save percentages: Giannuzzi .885, Špunar .885.
When Portland visited them on October 9, they hadn’t been doing too badly, a 2-2 record. Portland beat them, and since then it’s been a nightmare. Counting the Portland game, they’re 1-8 and have been outscored 22-51. In their last 6 games they haven’t given up less than 5 goals. Their penalty kill sits at an awful 56.2%. Their team save percentage is .843.
It’s brought into focus how much of a task the rebuild is, and they continued that with a trade of their top defenseman, Graham Sward, to Winnipeg for Jared Brinson and 4 draft choices.
They’re also on their 3rd game in 3 days, after dropping two at home to Prince George.
|20||16-Cade Hayes (153)|
|19||28-Chase Bertholet (116)
10-Blake Swetlikoff (111)
11-Ty Cheveldayoff (95)
13-Grady Lane (78)
|18||17-Carter Streek (75)
23-Michael Cicek (41)
29-Tommaso De Luca (12)
|17||19-Jake Gudelj (68)
15-Kooper Gizowski (61)
|16||34-Berkly Catton (24)
22-Cole Wadsworth (10)
37-Cameron Parr (7)
Catton, the 1st overall WHL pick, will miss as he’s at the World U-17 Challenge.
Gizowski started the season very well, but is scoreless in his last 4 games.
The Italian import De Luca has a 3-game point streak.
Bertholet continues his strong play with Spokane since being acquired from Winnipeg last season.
Leading forwards: Bertholet (13/13), Gizowski (11/13), Catton (10/11), De Luca (8/12), Cheveldayoff (8/13).
|20||25-Raegan Wiles (139)
6-Mac Gross (115)
|18||2-Jaren Brinson (91)
3-Brayden Crampton (74)
4-Ben Bonni (30)
|17||24-Saige Weinstein (81)|
|16||18-Will McIsaac (17)|
A crew that is trying to regroup after the trade of Sward. Weinstein is a C prospect via Central Scouting, their only draft prospect.
Leading defensemen: Weinstein (6/13), Wiles (5/12), Brinson (4/15).
|19||30-Mason Beaupit (72)|
|17||33-Cooper Michaluk (15)|
A nightmare start for both goalies. Beaupit is a 4th-round pick of the Sharks, so you think he will improve. He started against Prince George on Saturday, so it could be Michaluk in this one.
Save percentages: Beaupit .842, Michaluk .845.
|Power plays for/game||3.5||4.4||4.5|
|Power plays against/game||4.8||4.5||4.5|
|After 1 period||7-3-3||2-8-3|
|After 2 periods||8-2-3||2-10-1|
|Score, last 10 games||44-34||23-54|
|Score, last 20 games||73-61||49-105|
|Total WHL games||1747||1485|