The Portland Winterhawks opened the 2016-17 preseason schedule with a 4-3 win over the Tri-City Americans Friday in a game played in Everett, Washington.
Returning forward Evan Weinger had a big game in the victory, racking up three points with a goal and two assists.
It didn’t take long for the Hawks to get on the board, as just 1:02 into the game, new Danish import player Joachim Blichfeld scored on a power play to give the Hawks an early 1-0 lead. Blichfeld is a San Jose Sharks draft pick the Hawks selected in the second round of this year’s CHL Import Draft.
The Hawks applied pressure throughout a dominating period, and Weinger (11:59) and Ryan Hughes (16:01) each scored as they gave the Hawks a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. Portland outshot Tri-Cities 19-8 in the opening frame.
As they did in the first, Portland scored early in the second when rookie Ilijah Colina found the back of the net 1:09 into the frame to push the Hawks’ lead to 4-0, which remained the score going into the third.
The Americans struck for two goals in quick succession in the third, when Jordan Topping and Paycen Bjorklund scored 26 seconds apart to cut the Hawks’ lead to 4-2 with just over six minutes to play. With their goaltender on the bench for an extra attacker, Tri-Cities got within one with 1:33 to go when Michael Rasmussen scored to cut Portland’s lead to 4-3.
That would be as close the Americans would get, as Portland closed the door from there to come away with the victory. Michael Bullion played in goal for the Hawks, stopping 34 of the 37 shots he faced.
Today’s game was the first of three in Everett this weekend. The preseason continues tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. against Spokane and then Sunday at 7 p.m. against the Silvertips. The Hawks will play a total of six preseason games before opening the 2016-17 regular season at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday. September 24 at the Moda Center.