Machacek and Blum shine as Vancouver pounds Portland 6-1 in WHL action
VANCOUVER - Spencer Machacek scored two power play goals and rookie goaltender Kraymer Barnstable recorded his first WHL victory as the Vancouver Giants defeated the Portland Winter Hawks 6-1 in WHL action Sunday.
Evander Kane, Lance Bouma, Mario Bliznak and Craig Cunningham also scored for the Giants. Jon Blum provided four assists, matching a club record that he shares with current teammate Michal Repik and former Giants rearguard Paul Albers.
Travis Ehrhardt replied for the injury-riddled Winter Hawks, who dropped to 5-22-0-0.
The defending Memorial Cup-champion Giants improved to 20-7-1-3 before a sparse announced crowd of 5,849 that braved a snowstorm which struck Vancouver overnight and persisted for most of Sunday afternoon.
Barnstable, a 17-year-old Kelowna native, improved his record to 1-2 while making only his fifth appearance of the season. But he was rarely tested as the Giants outshot the Winter Hawks by a whopping 49-16 while converting four of eight power play chances.
The score would have been much higher if the Giants had finished more of their opportunities and Winter Hawks goaltender Kurtis Mucha had not sparkled for most of the game. Portland had only two unsuccessful power play opportunities.
The Giants limited Portland to only one shot on goal in the first five minutes of the game as they outshot the Winter Hawks 18-5 in the first period. The hosts struggled to finish off their chances but still staked claim to a 2-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes.
Kane opened the scoring at 8:13 as he wristed a shot high over Mucha from the side of the net. The goal came exactly one minute after Portland's Viktor Sjodin received a double-minor for checking Neil Manning from behind.
Machacek made the Giants two-for-two on the man advantage in the first period as his wrist shot clanked off the near post and squeezed past Mucha at 17:04. That goal also came exactly one minute after a Portland penalty. This time, Aaron McGill was off for roughing.
Erhardt managed to cut Portland's deficit to 2-1 on a point shot that Barnstable misplayed at 17:03 of the second period. It was only Portland's third of four shots in the period.
Bouma increased Vancouver's lead to 3-1 only 13 seconds later as he took a pass from James Wright, raced in on goal, and bounced a shot in off Mucha's shoulder.
Machacek's second goal erased any further doubt about the outcome 2:36 into the third period as he skated through the crease and put home a backhand as he fell.
Vancouver played without top scorer Repik, who remained in hospital Sunday after suffering a suspected concussion Saturday against Everett. The injury raises doubts about whether Repik, 18, will be able to play for his native Czech Republic when it hosts the upcoming world junior championships.
Repik, a 2007 second-round draft choice of the Florida Panthers, received a hit to the head from Everett defenceman Dane Crowley early in the third period of Vancouver's 7-0 victory over the Silvertips. Crowley faces an automatic review and possible suspension after taking a rare interference major and game misconduct.
Repik, who has 17 goals and 22 assists this season, ranked seventh among WHL scorers before Sunday's games.