The Portland Winterhawks had already clinched a playoff spot coming into the last weekend of regular season play. However, there was some pride on the line for Saturday’s matchup with long-time rival the Seattle Thunderbirds, and they rose to the challenge.
The Winterhawks downed the Thunderbirds 4-1 on Saturday, March 18th up in Kent, WA. Forward Colton Veloso chipped in with two goals, and an assist for the first three point night of his career. They also got some great goaltending from Cole Kehler, who stopped 31 of 32 shots.
Back in Portland on Sunday was a different story though. The Spokane Chiefs were in town and played like they had something to prove. On a night when the team handed out their season awards, they fell to Spokane 7-2. Not much of a sendoff for the faithful, but a good season nonetheless.
The team now looks forward to the postseason, and the Prince George Cougars, who won the B.C. Division by one point over the Kelowna Rockets. The Winterhawks finished with 84 points, and fourth, in tough U.S. Division.
The regular season series ended tied 2-2, with both teams winning their home games. It should be a good series as the Winterhawks ended the regular season 8-2, including a win over the Cougars. The series starts this Friday, March 24th in Prince George. After the second game on Saturday, the series will come to Portland on Tuesday, March 28th.