Preseason recap: Hawks fall in tight contest
Everett, Wash. – The Portland Winterhawks opened up preseason play at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Wash. on Saturday, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Spokane Chiefs but picking up valuable minutes against WHL competition.
Both teams traded goals in the opening 40 minutes, with Josh Zakreski canceling out an early Conner Roulette goal for the Chiefs in the first period and Nick Johnson answering Owen Schoettler’s strike in the middle stanza. With the teams tied at two in the third, top 2024 NHL Draft prospect Berkly Catton gave Spokane the lead, and ultimately the 3-2 win, with a power-play strike just under a minute into the final frame.
Diego Buttazzoni rolled over a strong Neely Cup showing with two more assists in this one, showcasing his playmaking ability ahead of his second campaign in the Rose City. Alex Thompson and Marcus Nguyen also recorded assists in the contest. Portland netminder Luke Brunen stopped 25 of 28 shots as he kicked off his second WHL preseason, while Cooper Michaluk and Dawson Cowan combined for 45 saves in Spokane’s win as the Hawks heavily dominated the shot count.
Three members of Portland’s 2023 WHL Draft class made their preseason debuts, with Griffin Darby, Owen Chapman and Jordan Duguay each skating in their first games as Winterhawks. A handful of rookies from previous drafts also skated in key minutes – Kyle McDonough (2022) went 7/13 in the faceoff circle and recorded four shots, Carsyn Dyck (2022) posted a pair of shots and Hudson Darby (2022) won five of his eight faceoffs.
The Hawks are back in preseason action tomorrow at 12:00 P.M. against the Seattle Thunderbirds, once again at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. Tickets for Sunday’s game can be purchased through the Silvertips by clicking here.
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