The Portland Winterhawks defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 6-5 in a Western Hockey League shootout in front of 5,705 at accesso ShoWare Center on Saturday night.
Portland’s Cross Hanas was the only shooter to convert in the shootout. Portland goalie Joel Hofer stopped Payton Mount, Andrej Kukuca and Simon Kubicek.
Seattle (18-22-3-2) occupies the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference, eight points ahead of the Tri-City Americans (14-25-4-1). The Vancouver Giants (19-20-3-2) are in the first wild-card playoff spot, two points ahead of the T-Birds.
Payton Mount had a goal and two assists, Matthew Rempe had a goal and an assist and Max Patterson had two assists as the T-Birds came back from a three-goal deficit to force overtime and a shootout.
Rempe put the T-Birds in front 1-0 2:10 into the first period. Conner Bruggen-Cate had the puck in the neutral zone and passed it to Andrej Kukuca at the blue line on the right wing. Kukuca took two strides and fired the puck to Rempe crashing the net. The puck went off Rempe’s skate and past Hofer.
The T-Birds made it a 2-0 lead at 7:01 of the first. Lucas Ciona passed the puck from the left corner to Patterson in the right corner. Patterson found Mount all alone in the slot. Mount beat Hofer over the glove for his 10th goal of the season.
Portland cut the lead to one goal at 12:22 of the first when Cross Hanas scored.
The Winterhawks tied the game 2-2 on a shorthanded goal by Jaydon Dureau at 14:50 of the first.
Seth Jarvis scored on the power play at 16:51 and then at even strength at 18:32 to make it a 4-2 Winterhawks lead going into the first intermission.
Reece Newkirk scored on the power play at 4:31 of the second to put Portland in front 5-2.
Cade McNelly started the T-Birds come back at 6:50 of the second. Mount put Rempe in on a partial break but he wasn’t able to get a shot off. As he crossed the goal line Rempe backhanded the puck back into the slot. McNelly took the pass and beat Hofer over the glove with a hard wrist shot.
Mount cut the Winterhawks lead to one at 15:49 of the second on the power play. Owen Williams passed the puck to Max Patterson in the right circle. Patterson took a slap shot that Hofer stopped but couldn’t cover. Mount skated, got the puck and swept it past the outstretched left leg of the goalie for his second goal of the game.
A great hustle play by Simon Kubicek with 37 seconds left in the second tied the game 5-5. McNelly sent the puck from the defensive zone to Keltie Jeri-Leon in the neutral zone. Jeri-Leon took a long shot that bounced off Hofer into the low slot. On the Jeri-Leon shot Kubicek sprinted up the ice and was able to muscle past a Winterhawks defenseman and put the puck into the net.
The T-Birds return to action Tuesday against the Tri-City Americans at 7:05 p.m. at the ShoWare Center. The Chick-fil-A 2-for-Tuesday game that features two-for-one tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and select beverages.
Single-game tickets are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare box office. Fans who purchase the 24-flex ticket package will be able to select any available premium seat for any game, in any ticket combination, during the 2019-20 season.
First period – 1, Seattle, Rempe 6 (Kukuca, Bruggen-Cate), 2:10. 2, Seattle, Mount 10 (Patterson, Ciona), 7:01. 3, Portland, Hana 14 (Knak, Ludvig), 12:22. 4, Portland, Dureau 13 (Jarvis), 19:50 (sh). 5, Portland, Jarvis 25 (Ludvig, Dureau), 16:51 (pp). 6, Portland, Jarvis 26 (O’Brien, Ludvig), 18:32. Penalties – Hanus, Por (tripping), 13:46. McNelly, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:36.
Second period – 7, Portland, Newkirk 23 (Gricius, Jarvis), 4:31 (pp). 8, Seattle, McNelly 2 (Rempe, Mount), 6:50. 9, Seattle, Mount 11 (Patterson, Williams), 15:49 (pp). Penalties – Rybinski, Sea (hooking), 3:07. Cicek, Por (interference), 11:20. Brondberg, Por (tripping), 14:57.
Third period – No scoring. Penalties – McNelly, Sea (holding), 4:23. Rybinski, Sea (tripping), 17:24.
Overtime – No scoring. Penalties – Ludvig, Por (tripping), 2:21.
Shootout – Seattle 0 (Mount NG, Kukuca NG, Kubicek NG). Portland 0 (Hanas G, Jarvis NG).
Shots on goal – Seattle 12-11-7-6 36, Portland 16-13-12-0 41. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 41 shots-36 saves (14-16-3-2); Portland, Hofer 36-31 (26-4-2-1). Power plays – Seattle 1-4; Portland 2-4. Referees – Jeff Ingram, Ward Pateman. Linesmen – Mark Heier, Nathan Van Oosten.