In Saturday pre-season action, Riley Boychuk notched a late assist and provided a physical spark Saturday as Portland came back from a pair of four-goal deficits to earn a thrilling 6-5 overtime win over the OHL's Soo Greyhounds. With about eight minutes to play and the Winterhawks trailing 5-3, Boychuk broke down the wing and sent a pass towards the slot that was batted in by Spencer Bennett. The 'Hawks would strike again just :43 later to tie the game and carry momentum to the OT victory.
With Portland sitting a slew of regulars for the second straight night, Boychuk was quite active on a line opposite Oliver Gabriel (three goals in first two pre-season games) while also anchoring the top power play and penalty killing units. His checking energy was on point, especially in the third period when he delivered a few solid pops and created several scoring opportunities for the rallying Winterhawks. Portland will next take the ice on Friday when they face the Spokane Chiefs in Everett's pre-season tourney.
Also on Saturday, Mark Pysyk was left off the scoresheet as the host Oil Kings opened their exhibition schedule with a 5-4 loss to Swift Current. The Oil Kings skate away with the loss despite a dominating 53-22 shots on goal advantage. Edmonton will close out their weekend invitational tourney on Sunday against Medicine Hat.
Chilliwack's Kevin Sundher and Kamloops' Corey Fienhage both sat as the Bruins defeated the Blazers, 6-3.
In the OHL, Zack Kassian was scratched as Windsor opened the pre-season by playing to a 2-2 tie with Plymouth.