Winterhawks Defeat T-Birds In Seven Round Shootout

The Portland Winterhawks defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-3 in a shootout Saturday night at the Moda Center in Portland.
The shootout went seven rounds and Alex Overhardt, the seventh shooter for Portland, was the only shooter to score.
Seattle goalie Rylan Toth stopped Joachim Blichfeld, Ryan Huges, Caleb Jones, Skyler McKenzie, Cody Glass and Henri Jokiharju before Overhardt scored.
Portland goalie Cole Kehler stopped Mathew Barzal, Keegan Kolesar, Zack Andrusiak, Ethan Bear, Donovan Neuls and Alexander True. Sami Moilanen was the T-Birds seventh shooter and he needed to score to send the shootout to an eighth round. Kehler made a blocker save on Moilanen’s attempt.
The T-Birds are in second place in the US Division two points ahead of the Tri-City Americans with four games in hand. They are five points behind the first-place Everett Silvertips.
The T-Birds hit the road for back-to-back games in Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both games against the Royals start at 7:05pm. The next game at ShoWare Center is Friday, February 10, at 7:35pm against the Tri-City Americans.
Portland (29-21-1-2) took a 1-0 lead 1:53 into the first period on a goal by Joachim Blichfeld. Overhardt took a shot that Blichfeld tipped past Toth. Conor MacEachern had the second assist.
Seattle (31-15-3-2) came back and tied the game 1-1 less than four minutes after Portland’s opening goal. Sami Moilanen got the puck along the right boards in the Seattle zone and skated up ice with the puck. Moilanen crossed the puck to Nolan Volcan on the left wing and he entered the Portland zone with the puck. Volcan took a shot that hit Kehler’s left pad. Moilanen was following the play and banged the rebound into the net as Kehler dove to his left to try and make the save.
The T-Birds took a 2-1 lead with 16 seconds left in the first period. As a T-Birds power play was ending Volcan crossed the puck from the right circle to Mathew Barzal in the left circle. Barzal held the puck patiently and then found Austin Strand with a backdoor pass. Strand redirected Barzal’s pass past a diving Kehler.
Seattle outshot Portland 18-13 in the first period.
Ryan Gropp gave the T-Birds a 3-2 lead at 8:51 of the second period. Gropp was forechecking a Portland defenseman. The defenseman attempted to make a cross ice pass from the left circle. Gropp intercepted the pass three feet in from of Kehler and snapped the puck over the goalie’s glove for his 15th goal of the season.
The T-Birds had a 37-26 advantage in shots after 40 minutes by outshooting the Winterhawks 19-13 in the second period.
Portland tied the game 3-3 at 3:09 of the third period on a goal from Overhardt. Ryan Hughes and Blichfeld had the assists.
Seattle outshot Portland 15-10 in the third period and led 52-36 in shots after three periods.
The T-Birds went on the penalty kill for the last 1:52 of overtime after a slashing call on Strand. They kept the Winterhawks from scoring and got the game to a shootout.
Seattle outshot Portland 54-39 in the game.
Toth made 36 saves on 39 shots and his record is now 26-15-1-1.
Kehler had 51 saves on 54 shots and his record is 21-14-0-2.
First period – 1, Portland, Blichfeld 20 (Overhardt, MacEachern), 1:53. 2, Seattle, Moilanen 16 (Volcan), 5:43. 3, Seattle, Strand 5 (Barzal, Volcan), 19:44. Penalties – Ottenbreit, Sea (hooking), 5:52. Neuls, Sea (tripping), 13:29. Jokiharju, Por (tripping), 15:04. Veloso, Por (tripping), 17:39.                                                                                                                  
Second period – 4, Portland, Veloso 15 (Ginnell), :58. 5, Seattle, Gropp 15, 8:51.
Penalties – Overhardt, Por (hooking), 10:24. Bear, Sea (), 17:54. Strand, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:54. Glass, Por (roughing), 17:54. Bear, Sea (roughing), 17:54. McKenzie, Por (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:54. Ottenbreit, Sea (elbowing), 18:11.
Third period – 6, Portland, Overhardt 11 (Hughes, Blichfeld), 3:09. Penalties – Jones, Por (roughing), 5:00.
Overtime – No scoring. Penalties – Strand, Sea (slashing), 3:08.
Shootout – Seattle 0 (Barzal NG, Kolesar NG, Andrusiak NG, Bear NG, Neuls NG, True NG, Moilanen NG). Portland 1 (Blichfeld NG, Hughes NG, Jones NG, McKenzie NG, Glass NG, Jokiharju NG, Overhardt NG).
Shots on goal – Seattle 18-19-15-2 54, Portland 13-13-10-3 39. Goalies – Seattle, Toth 39 shots-26 saves (26-15-1-1); Portland, Kehler 54-51 (21-14-0-2). Power plays – Seattle 0-4; Portland 0-4. A – 10,947. Referees – Brett Iverson, Adam Griffiths. Linesmen – Erik Freeman, Jarrod Bowman.