Bruins score seven to upset Portland

The Chilliwack Bruins did what few teams have been able to do this year. They beat the Portland Winter Hawks.

The Bruins played their best game of the season Friday night at Prospera Centre, recording a 7-2 win over a stacked Portland squad (featuring 10 NHL draftees) that had lost just five games to date (21-4-0-1).

After winning just two of their previous nine, it was a game that Chilliwack desperately needed, and they played like it.

A grumpy Bruins squad took to the ice for period one, led by the particularly cranky Curt Gogol. On his first shift, Chilliwack’s penalty minute leader dropped the mitts with Portland’s biggest forward, challenging six-foot-six Tyler Jordan to a center-ice scrap.

Gogol couldn’t even reach Jordan’s face with his punches, opting instead for a flurry of body blows. But the 19-year-old held his own and perhaps made a couple of his teammates play a couple inches taller. That set off a first period penalty parade that kept referees Trevor Hansen and Trent Knorr busy.

The Bruins felt the wrath of the zebras when Blair Wentworth and Brandon Manning were tagged for back-to-back minors, putting Chilliwack two men down for 1:49. But the Bruins penalty killers came up large to keep the game scoreless.

The Winter Hawks would score the only goal of the opening frame, with New York Islanders prospect Nino Niederreiter pulling the trigger. Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Ryan Johansen set him up, wheeling away from a Jeff Einhorn check in the left corner to find Niederreiter uncovered in front of the Chilliwack net.

Niederreiter snapped a blocker-side shot past Bruins netminder Lucas Gore for his seventh of the season at 13:35.

Shots on goal in period one favoured Portland 15-7.

The Winter Hawks added to their lead just 38 seconds into period two. Working just inside the Portland blueline, Chilliwack’s Manning tried an ill-advised no-look backhand pass to defence partner Einhorn. Swiss sniper Sven Bartschi stole the puck and took off like a rocket. Gore made the initial save but couldn’t corral the rebound, and the 18-year-old winger punched it in for his team-leading 17th of the year.

Manning waited seven minutes before redeeming himself on a Chilliwack power play. With Abbotsford native Riley Boychuk banished to the penalty box for interference, Manning blew a point shot missile past Portland keeper Mac Carruth for his 11th of the year.

The Bruins drew even seven minutes later on an Einhorn tally. Credit Ryan Howse for some outstanding work, winning a puck battle with six-foot-seven defenceman Brett Ponich in the right corner. Howse got the puck to Einhorn at the left point, and the Red Deer native had all day to walk in and pick his spot, going over Carruth’s glove for his first of the year.

Shots on goal in period two favoured Chilliwack 15-10.

The Bruins took their first lead of the game seven minutes and 27 seconds into period three on a goal by Buffalo Sabres prospect Kevin Sundher.

The 18-year-old wheeled with a harmless just-put-it-on-net shot from the top of the right faceoff circle. The puck took a right turn off the skate of Winter Hawks defenceman Derek Pouliot, deflecting into the Portland cage for Sundher’s eighth of the year.

Ryan Howse added the insurance goal with 8:38 remaining, cutting into the slot and going top shelf glove-side on Carruth for his 19th.

Just over minute later, Steve Oursov picked Brad Ross’s pocket at the Portland blueline and came in on a short-handed breakaway. The Chilliwack native’s first of the year put the game away, and Brandon Magee and Sundher added late goals to wrap up the scoring.

The three stars were Howse (first), Sundher (second), Einhorn (third).

The Bruins return to action Wednesday, hosting the Saskatoon Blades at Prospera Centre. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It’s the Valley Huskers (left) and the Regina Riot (right) in the final of Football Canada’s online logo contest.
Valley Huskers face Regina Riot in final of Football Canada logo contest

Vote in the online poll to see the scarecrow named the best amateur football logo in the country

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

(File)
Two injured in rollover crash on Seabird Island

One treated for serious, non-life threatening injuries

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
UPDATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. Carlos Monteith, the man charged in the Clayton shooting, was sentenced April 22 on charges related to a different shooting in New West in November, 2019. (File photo)
Man gets 6.5 years in prison for shooting as he awaits trial for separate Cloverdale slaying

Carlos Nathaniel Monteith sentenced for possessing a prohibited weapon and discharging a firearm with intent

Most Read