The Portland Winterhawks (19-9-1-1) hosted the annual Teddy Bear Toss Saturday at the Rose Garden, and for the second straight year it was Ty Rattie bringing out the bears, as he scored 2:52 into the game en route to a 7-1 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds (11-14-0-1). The win came in front of a sellout crowd of 10,947.
Rattie’s goal brought 10,249 stuffed animals cascading onto the ice. It was just the beginning for Rattie, who also had three assists to finish with four points.
It was Portland’s ninth straight home win, and fourth straight overall. They tied a season-high with seven goals, and set a new season-high with 60 shots on goal, including 29 in the first period alone when they scored four times to jump out to an early lead.
Adding to the festivities of the evening, a local couple had a hockey-themed wedding at center ice during the bear cleanup.
Once play resumed after Rattie’s goal, Winterhawks defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon put the Hawks up 2-0 at the 4:42 mark on a shot from the right faceoff circle, his fourth goal of the season. The Hawks then got two goals from Taylor Leier before the end of the period as they took a commanding 4-0 lead into the intermission.
Midway through the second with the Hawks on a 5-on-3 power play, defenseman Joe Morrow fired a slapshot off a one-timer past Seattle netminder Calvin Pickard to make it 5-0. Portland then extended the lead to 6-0 with another power play goal at the 16:43 mark when Brad Ross put it past Pickard. Along with the six-goal lead, Portland took a 45-17 advantage in shots on goal into the second intermission.
Seattle made a goaltending change to open the third period, replacing Pickard with Daniel Cotton, then got on the board with a goal from Burke Gallimore at the 4:31 mark to make it 6-1. But that would be as close as they would get. Portland forward Joey Baker scored his first career WHL goal on a power play at the 18:09 mark to round out the scoring and give the Hawks the 7-1 win.
In addition to Rattie’s four points, Portland got three points from Sven Bartschi, and two each from Morrow and Leier.
Once again Portland’s special teams were outstanding, going 4-8 on the power play and a perfect 3-3 on the penalty kill.
Mac Carruth was solid in net for Portland, picking up the win with 26 saves on 27 shots. Pickard allowed six goals on 45 shots through two periods. Cotton made 14 saves in relief in the third.
The Hawks leave tomorrow morning for a four-game road trip that open in Prince George with back-to-back games against the Cougars Tuesday and Wednesday.