The last time the Winterhawks came to town, it was for a match in the Chynoweth Cup's Round of 16. At the time, Portland completed their sweep of the Giants with a 6-2 victory. This time around, the skate was on the other foot.
Joel Hamilton, Tyler Benson, Carter Popoff, Vladimir Bobylev, and Dalton Sward scored for the home side, while Keegan Iverson, Colton Veloso, and Chase De Leo tallied for the visitors.
Benson's goal was of particular importance, as it was his first goal in a competitive fixture. And the goal was entirely of his own making.
While still in his own half, he flicked the puck past Iverson, turned on the jets to muscle past Viveiros, cutting to the middle in front of the Winterhawks crease, and when high with a backhand shot that beat goalkeeper Adin Hill.
"It's nice to get that first one out of the way," said the 16-year old. "I hope there will be many more."
It's nice that he's remained humble. It would be easy for the Edmonton, Alberta native to let the plaudits get to his head. After all, it's not every rookie who's been compared to Maurice Richard, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Sidney Crosby.
But, as much as we might wish to launch his coronation, there were 37 other players who took to the ice on Friday night at the Coliseum.
And the Winterhawks weren't about to roll over either.
They came to play.
After going down 2-0 thanks to Hamilton and Benson's efforts, Portland scored a power play goal just over a minute after Benson's tally. Dmitry Osipov was the guilty party, having been sent to the box for roughing.
As the first period drew to a close, Portland tied it up. And just after the break, they went ahead. Vancouver wouldn't equalise until the dying seconds of the second period.
And Benson was involved in that goal too. He may not have earned an assist, but if had not been for his efforts to keep the puck in Portland's end, Popoff wouldn't have been able to the tie the match.
In the third period, Bobylev restored Vancouver's lead, and Captain Dalton Sward put the game out of reach.
The Winterhawks were without two of their best players, centre Nic Petan, who's currently in Winnipeg hoping to make the Jets lineup, and Oliver Bjorkstrand, who's trying the same with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Last year, the pair combined for 222 points.
Contrasting the fate of the Winterhawks, the Giants benefited from the return of Jackson Houck, who had tried to earn a spot with the Edmonton Oilers, and Mason Geertsen who had returned from the Colorado Avalanche.
A somewhat disappointing crowd of 4,109 took in the match, and were fortunate enough to see the Giants out-shoot their opposition 48-26, and by an impressive 18-3 margin in the third period.
On Sunday, the Giants will try to make it three in a row when they host the Victoria Royals at 5:00 PM.
Man of the Match: Carter Popoff
Referees: Mike Langin and Adam Griffiths
3' - VAN - Joel Hamilton (Jakob Stukel)
13' - VAN - Tyler Benson
14' - POR - Keegan Iverson (Keoni Texeira and Evan Weinger, Power Play)
20' - POR - Colton Veloso (Skyler McKenzie)
22' - POR - Chase De Leo (Alex Schoenborn and Tyson Predinchuk)
40' - VAN - Carter Popoff (Vladimir Bobylev and Arvin Atwal)
42' - VAN - Vladimir Bobylev (Arvin Atwal and Joel Hamilton)
50' - VAN - Dalton Sward (Jesse Roach)
Shots: Vancouver 48 - Portland 26
Saves: Vancouver 23 - Portland 43
Power Plays: Vancouver 3 - Portland 3
Penalty Minutes: Vancouver 6 - Portland 19
8' - VAN - Arvin Atwal (High Sticking)
14' - VAN - Dmitry Osipov (Roughing)
25' - VAN - Dalton Sward (Checking from Behind)
35' - POR - Joshua Smith (Slashing)
31' - POR - Keoni Texeira (Checking to the Head)
36' - POR - Keoni Texeira (Game Misconduict)
40' - POR - Alex Schoenborn (Roughing)
1. Payton Lee; 4. Clayton Kirichenko; 5. Tyler Morrison; 9. Dalton Sward; 11. Jakob Stukel; 12. David Brumm; 14. Matt Bellerive; 16. Thomas Foster; 17. Tyler Benson; 19. Jesse Roach; 20. Arvin Atwal; 22. Dmitry Osipov; 26. Ryely McKinstry; 27. Jackson Houck; 31. Ryan Kubic; 37. Brendan Holterhus; 39. Joel Hamilton; 42. Carter Popoff; 44. Mason Geertsen; 47. Vladimir Bobylev
Portland Winter Hawks
2. Anton Cederholm; 3. Ethan Price; 8. Joshua Smith; 9. Chase De Leo; 13. Keegan Iverson; 15. Tyson Predinchuk; 17. Alex Overhardt; 21. Brendan De Jong; 22. Alex Schoenborn; 23. Dominic Turgeon; 25. Evan Weinger; 26. Jack Flaman; 29. Travis McEvoy; 31. Adin Hill; 35. Michael Bullion; 36. Carter Czaikowski; 39. Colton Veloso; 42. Layne Viveiros; 43. Skyler McKenzie; 44. Keoni Texeira