WHL: Thunderbirds Break Portland Hex

WHL Portland Winterhawks vs. Seattle Thunderbirds

Photo Courtesy of @roncallan

The Seattle Thunderbirds scored twice on the power play on Friday night in a 4-2 win over the Portland Winterhawks at the Moda Center. It was the season opening game for both clubs. Seattle forward Ryan Gropp scored the final two insurance goals of the game in the third period.

It was a big confidence building win for the T-Birds to start this campaign as they have high hopes to improve on last year’s 88 point season that helped them finish 4th in the Western Conference.

Wins over Portland in Portland have been very rare for the T-Birds over the last five seasons. They have played 30 games in the Rose City over that time frame with an overall record of 3-27. In those 30 games, Seattle has only scored 59 goals compared to the 167 scored by the Winterhawks. In fact, Seattle had given up five or more goals in 20 of those 30 games.

Those results look like they could be a thing of the past after tonight’s display. Taran Kozun stopped 24-of-25 Portland shots to earn the win, his 15th in his one-and-a-half season with Seattle. Seattle plays again on Saturday night when they host the rival Everett Silvertips at ShoWare Center, that faceoff is scheduled for 7:05 pm. The Portland Winterhawks welcome in the improving Prince George Cougars to the Moda Center on Saturday with the faceoff scheduled for 7 pm.

Goals 1 2 3 OT Total
Seattle 0 1 3 4
Portland 0 1 0 1
Shots 1 2 3 OT Total
Seattle 10 13 14 37
Portland 9 12 4 25
First Period
none
Second Period
POR Tyson Predinchuk (Layne Viveiros, Keoni Texeria) 4:28 (PP)
SEA Keegan Kolesar (Adam Henry, Mathew Barzal) 14:39 (PP)
Third Period
SEA Alexander True (Nolan Volcan, Jerret Smith) 2:34
SEA Ryan Gropp (Keegan Kolesar, Mathew Barzal) 4:03 (PP)
SEA Ryan Gropp (Sam Mckechnie) 19:59
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