Giants blank Winterhawks
If the Portland Winterhawks score a goal on Saturday against Everett at Memorial Coliseum, it might count as the most significant Teddy Bear Toss goal in franchise history.
The Winterhawks were shut out at home for the second consecutive game on Friday and lost their fourth in a row, a 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Giants in front of 3,493 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
Vancouver goalie David Tendeck posted his second win of the week over Portland. The 18-year-old stopped all 37 shots to earn his first Western Hockey League shutout in his 41st career game.
The Winterhawks are 20-8-0-1 and remain atop the U.S. Division with 41 points. The Giants are 14-13-2-2, third in the B.C. Division.
The lone goal of Friday's game was scored by Brendan Semchuk with 7:44 left in the third period. His shot along the ice from low in the left-wing circle found its way through a screened Cole Kehler.
Portland controlled play for long stretches of the game and outshot Vancouver 37-18 but couldn't convert any of its chances.
Among them was a last-minute shot from Kieffer Bellows off a feed from Keoni Texeira that missed the open net.
The chances for Portland included a first-period shot from Texeira that hit the post and a Bellows follow-up that was saved by Tendeck. The Hawks outshot the Giants 14-5 in the first period.
The Giants were the stronger team for the first 10 minutes of the second period, but the Hawks came to life over the final eight minutes of the middle frame. A shorthanded rush featured two shots for Skyler McKenzie and one for Cody Glass. Joachim Blichfeld got behind the defense but was denied by Tendeck. And in another flurry, the Giants' goalie stopped shots from Jake Gricius and Lane Gilliss.
Portland was 0 for 3 on the power play. Vancouver was 0 for 5, including 48 seconds of five-on-three time early in the second period.
Saturday's game against Everett starts at 6 p.m. at the coliseum. With the Trail Blazers — suffering through their own home-game woes — playing at 7 in the Moda Center, traffic in the Rose Quarter area will be heavy.
The Hawks will try to rid themselves of the weight of a scoring drought that has seen them score only four goals in the four-game losing streak. The challenge will be to beat Everett goalie Carter Hart, the top goalie in the WHL.
A Philadelphia Flyers prospect, Hart blanked Spokane on Friday, his fifth shutout in 17 games since recovering from mononucleosis.