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Classic rivalry on tap as Winterhawks gear up for Thunderbirds in second round of WHL Playoffs

The 2022 WHL Playoffs are about to get lively in the U.S. Division as the Portland Winterhawks and Seattle Thunderbirds will come together for a good ol’ party in the second round.

The rivalry renewal was made official on Monday night when the upstart Vancouver Giants eliminated the U.S. Division-champion Everett Silvertips in a stunning six-game series.

While fans in the PNW are more than familiar with one another, this marks the first time since 2015 that the Winterhawks and Thunderbirds will meet in post-season play. The last time around, it was the Winterhawks emerging victorious in a six-game first-round series.

During the 2021-22 season, it was the Winterhawks claiming the season series with a record of 9-4-0-0, including a 5-4 victory on April 2 to close out the festivities. In fact, Portland is winners of four straight against Seattle, beginning with a 3-2 shootout victory on March 11. The Thunderbirds last victory against the Winterhawks came on February 19 – a 5-1 win in Portland.

Forwards Tyson Kozak (8G-6A) and Cross Hanas (5G-9A) registered 14 points apiece for the Winterhawks, leading all skaters in scoring during the season series. For Seattle, veterans Reid Schaefer (6G-5A) and Jared Davidson (3G-8A) tallied 11 points each to lead the T-Birds.

In net, Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Taylor Gauthier joined the Winterhawks prior to the WHL Trade Deadline and proceeded to earn six wins over the Thunderbirds, going 6-2-0-0 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. Thunderbirds netminder Thomas Milic went 4-6-0-2 in 12 appearances against Portland, including a 2.91 GAA and .913 SV%.

Game 1 between the two U.S. Division rivals is set for Saturday, May 7 at 6:05 p.m. PT (accesso ShoWare Center) before shifting to Portland for Games 2 and 3 on Sunday, May 8 and Wednesday, May 11, respectively.

Game Visitor Home Date Time
1 Portland @ Seattle Saturday, May 7 6:05
2 Seattle @ Portland Sunday, May 8 5:00
3 Seattle @ Portland Wednesday, May 11 7:00
4 Portland @ Seattle Friday, May 13 7:05
5 * Seattle @ Portland Saturday, May 14 6:00
6 * Portland @ Seattle Monday, May 16 7:05
7 * Seattle @ Portland Tuesday, May 17 7:00

 

* If necessary

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