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First Round Preview: Chiefs vs. Winterhawks

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The Spokane Chiefs and Portland Winterhawks are set for a rematch of last year’s first round playoff matchup again this year in the opening round of the 2019 WHL Playoffs. In a reversal from last season, the Chiefs hold home-ice advantage for the series, as they finished as the #3 team in the Western Conference while Portland finished as the #4 team.

While there are plenty of players returning on both sides from last year’s opening round series, several of last season’s stars are no longer with their WHL club, including Kailer Yamamoto, Hudson Elynuik, Zach Fischer and Tyson Helgesen from Spokane and Kieffer Bellows, Henri Jokiharju, Dennis Cholowski and Skyler McKenzie for Portland. A combination of impressive newcomers and returning players who have made significant strides in the last year are sure to make for a hard-fought battle all series long.

Spokane held a slight advantage over Portland in the season series, going 3-2-0-1 (7 points) while Portland finished 3-3-0-0 (6 points). The Chiefs went 2-1-0-0 on their home ice and 1-1-0-1 in Portland with the two sides’ most recent matchup coming on March 1 in Portland, a game the Chiefs won 5-2.


Schedule

  • Game 1 – Portland at Spokane – Friday, March 22 – 7:05 p.m.
  • Game 2 – Portland at Spokane – Saturday, March 23 – 7:05 p.m.
  • Game 3 – Spokane at Portland – Tuesday, March 26 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Game 4 – Spokane at Portland – Wednesday, March 27 – 7:00 p.m.
  • *Game 5 – Portland at Spokane – Saturday, March 30 – 7:05 p.m.
  • *Game 6 – Spokane at Portland – Monday, April 1 – 7:00 p.m.
  • *Game 7 – Portland at Spokane – Wednesday, April 3 – 7:05 p.m.

*if necessary


By the Numbers

Spokane Chiefs

Overall Record: 40-21-2-5 (87 points)

Position: 2nd U.S. Division • 3rd Western Conference

Home Record: 24-7-0-3

Away Record: 16-14-2-2

GF-GA: 267-222

PP: 81/278 (29.1%) • PK: 26/239 (76.6%)

Portland Winterhawks

Overall Record: 40-22-3-3 (86 points)

Position: 3rd U.S. Division • 4th Western Conference

Home Record: 23-8-2-1

Away Record: 17-14-1-2

GF-GA: 258-210

PP: 69/297 (23.2%) • PK: 55/307 (82.1%)


2018-19 Season Series

  • Spokane 5 @ Portland 2 (Mar. 1, 2019)
  • Spokane 5 @ Portland 6 (Feb 2, 2019) SO
  • Portland 2 @ Spokane 7 (Jan. 30, 2019)
  • Spokane 2 @ Portland 8 (Dec. 1, 2018)
  • Portland 8 @ Spokane 6 (Nov. 4, 2018)
  • Portland 1 @ Spokane 4 (Oct. 26, 2018)

Players to Watch

Spokane

  • #11 Jaret Anderson-Dolan, C
    • Led team with 1.34 points per game (32 GP)
    • Carried nine-game goal streak into the final regular season game of the season
    • Led team with 9 points (2G, 7A) vs. Portland in 2018 WHL Playoffs (7 GP)
    • 2017 2nd round pick (41st overall) – Los Angeles Kings
  • #24 Ty Smith, D
    Ty Smith
    Ty Smith (Photo: Larry Brunt)
    • 4th among WHL defensemen in points (69) and t-1st for assists (62) in 57 games
    • Western Conference 1st-Team All-Star
    • Western Conference Defenseman of the Year
    • 2018 1st round pick (17th overall) – New Jersey Devils
  • #13 Riley Woods, LW
    • Scored career-high and team-leading 75 points (29G, 46A) this season
    • Western Conference 2nd-Team All-Star
    • Led Chiefs with 14 points (4G, 10A) in six games vs. Portland this season

Portland

  • #8 Cody Glass, C 
    • Led WHL with 1.82 points per game in 38 games (missed significant portion of season due to injury)
    • Western Conference Most Sportsmanlike Player
    • Led Winterhawks with 11 points (3G, 8A) against Spokane in 2018 WHL Playoffs
    • 2017 1st round pick (6th overall) – Vegas Golden Knights
  • #20 Joachim Blichfeld, LW
    • Led WHL with 114 points and tied for lead with 53 goals
    • Western Conference Player of the Year
    • Led Winterhawks in points (12), goals (5) and assists (7) vs. the Chiefs this season
    • Had four hat tricks during regular season
    • 2016 7th round pick (210th overall) – San Jose Sharks
  • #14 Jake Gricius, C 
    • Set career highs in goals (27), assists (34) and points (61) in 2018-19 season
    • Had four multi-goal performances this season
    • 5 points (3G, 2A) in six games against Spokane this season

Head-to-Head Playoff History

Overall: Portland leads in all-time series wins (8-3) and total games (42-28)

First Round: Portland leads (4-3)

Most Recent: 2018 First Round (Portland won, 4-3)

The Chiefs and Winterhawks have a long-standing playoff rivalry as two of the most successful franchises in the Western Conference. Portland holds the edge in series wins and overall wins. Spokane made history in 1996, becoming the first WHL team to advance after a 3-0 series deficit, recovering to win in seven games. Portland has won the last four series dating back to 2010.


Follow the Series

Tickets: For playoff packages, visit the Chiefs’ Ticket Office at Spokane Arena or call 509-535-PUCK. Single game tickets are available online here.

Radio: 103.5 FM The Game – Listen online here.

Webcast: WHL Live playoff packages are now available! Click here for more information.

Social: Be sure to follow the Chiefs on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (@spokanechiefs). Use hashtags #WHLPlayoffs and #SPOvsPOR to keep tabs on the series!

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