The Hitmen road trip rolls on as they take on the Portland Winterhawks Wednesday night for the lone meeting between the two clubs.
Tuesday night saw the Hitmen three-game winning streak snapped as the fell 4-0 to the Western Conference leaders Everett Silvertips. Jack McNaughton recorded 29 saves, in a tilt that saw the Hitmen outshot 33-26 marking the second game in a row that they have been outshot. Despite being shutout for the fourth time on the year, the Hitmen sit fourth in the Eastern Conference in goals for with 81.
Highlights: Hitmen vs Silvertips
Prior to the last two contests, the Hitmen had won four in a row against the ‘Hawks from 2012-13 to 2015-16. The last meeting saw Portland record a 7-3 victory in their only battle last season on Nov. 22 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Hitmen last win in Portland came on Feb. 25, 2015 by a score of 5-4 in overtime. That night saw them come back from a 4-1 second period deficit with Elliott Peterson scoring the game winner. Jake Virtanen and Kenton Helgesen both added a goal and an assist.
Portland saw their seven-game point streak come to an end Saturday night after a 6-4 loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds. With a 6-3-0-1 mark in their last ten games, the Winterhawks sit seven points back of Everett for top spot in the U.S. Division with three games in hand, but only have a one point lead over Spokane.
The Hitmen meanwhile, currently sit four points back of a wildcard spot and five for third in the Central Division.
“We know we need points,” Riley Stotts said. “Our division is really tight and it’s up to us to go on a run. Being on the road, you grow together. There’s something about being out on the road that connects everyone closer.
“We won’t be back home for a while still so it’s important to take care of business here on the road.
Following Wednesday’s clash, the U.S. portion of the road trip will wrap up on the weekend with a pair of clashes against Seattle and Tri-City.
Luke Coleman is two goals short of 50.
Vladislav Yeryomenko is two games shy of 150.
Kaden Elder is three goals away from 50.
Carl Stankowski is 50 saves shy of 500.
Goals For: 81
Goals Against: 91
Goals: Mark Kastelic (19)
Assists: Jake Kryski (14)
Points: Kastelic (30)
Powerplay Goals: Kastelic (10)
Shorthanded Goals: Kastelic (2)
Shots: Kastelic (89)
Top Goalie: Jack McNaughton, 4-6, 3.51 GAA, 0.885 SV%
Goals For: 86
Goals Against: 71
Goals: Joachim Blichfeld (20)
Assists: Cody Glass (32)
Points: Blichfeld (43)
Powerplay Goals: Jake Gricius (10)
Shorthanded Goals: Several Players Tied (1)
Shots: Blichfeld (98)
Top Goalie: Shane Farkas, 12-5-0-2, 2.80 GAA, 0.902 SV%