Video Flashback

Yeah, yeah…I’ve been slacking on the blog again lately…but, hopefully, this will make up for it.

Let’s go back to the 80’s…and some great moments in the Portland Winterhawks vs. Kamloops Blazers history.

Video 1 – Regular season game between the two when Rob Brown spears Dan Woodley in the final minutes with a few goal lead…the Hawks get a five minute power play and comes back to win…here are the final two goals.  (BTW…watch the crowd…holy cow…can we have this spirit for this upcoming series?):

Video 2 – 1987 West Final

Video 3 – 1989 West Final – Game 2 – Hawks down 5-1 in the third, rally to win 6-5 to take a 2-0 series lead:

Video 4 – In 1986-87 Jim Latos and Rudy Poeschek had two epic fights…this is round 2…

Fired up, yet?

Game 1 of the Winterhawks and Blazers goes Friday night at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum…tickets available at

Hawks Win Game 3, Bulmer Gets 1 Game

It was another solid outing last night for the Portland Winterhawks as the Sven Bartschi/Marcel Noebels/Ty Rattie line exploded for 11 points in the 6-3 win in Game 3 against the Kelowna Rockets.  The Hawks now have a commanding 3-0 series lead with a chance to wrap up the series tomorrow night in Game 4 at Prospera Place in Kelowna.

From watching the game over the web, it was evident that the Rockets had no answer for the Hawks top line in Game 3 as they scored some very pretty goals and had numerous chances that they didn’t quite convert.  In the series, the line has combined for 8 goals, 17 assists and 25 points.   The Rockets have six goals as a team in the three games.

But it wasn’t just the top line going, all of the Hawks lines had chances and the Hawks continue to roll line after line to create pressure on the Rockets defense.  It was nice to have Brendan Leipsic back in uniform after missing the last four games.

The word from the Kelowna side is that is what their best effort in the series so far and I would tend to agree.  It may be a bit of a concern that all three Kelowna goals came from the defense as the forwards were held quiet for the second consecutive game.

Both teams were missing key players due to suspension as Oliver Gabriel and Brett Bulmer sat this one out.  Both will be back for Game 4 as the “TBD” on Bulmer’s suspension was filled with “One Game” this afternoon by the WHL.

I’m sure that most Portland fans will feel that the suspension wasn’t long enough based on the nature of the penalty.  I’ve said it before on this blog, it is what it is.   The Hawks won Games 1 & 2 with Bulmer in the line-up, and they have all the momentum heading into Game 4 with Bulmer in the line-up.

From being around the Hawks Coaching Staff the last few years, I can tell you that their focus will be on their players and their game.  If the Hawks play their game like we have seen in the first three games, there is a very real possibility this series ends on Thursday.  If they start to get distracted by off-ice happenings (or on-ice happenings) that possibility lessens.

It was helpful that Reagan Bartel posted some thoughts from VP of Hockey Richard Doerksen on his blog (Regan’s Rant, link on the left) and it was I expected to read.

Having Bulmer back should help the Rockets, but adding Gabriel back for Portland should counter that.  With Gabriel returning, it will be the first time the Hawks have had a full roster since before Bartschi left for his NHL stint.

The fourth victory is the hardest in any series, and tomorrow I’m sure that will hold true.

I’m looking forward to it…


Hawks Hold Serve, Send Message…

Photo Credit - The Oregonian

If there was any doubt, the photo is pretty conclusive that Sven Bartschi may actually be Superman.

While Super Sven didn’t score on this play, he has been a huge reason while the Portland Winterhawks have gone 2-0 in their opening round playoff series against the Kelowna Rockets picking up five assists (he will have one added on the Hawks first goal from Saturday night later today) on the 10 goals the Hawks have scored in the series.

For those fans that watched games 1 & 2 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, they saw a Hawks team that not only has some incredible skill, but they have a fair share of grit as well.  The Rockets are a bigger team on paper, but the Hawks showed that they will not back down when pushed and they will not fall into the after the whistle silliness that has plagued this team in years past.

The Rockets, meanwhile, have tried to get into the Hawks heads with Adam Brown’s puck stealing after the Game 1 loss and the antics of Brett Bulmer in game 2 (more on that in a second).   In the end, the Hawks have been the more composed team and that has helped propel them to the two victories.

One of the things that Todd Vrooman and I have talked about all year is the Hawks depth and that has shown in the series so far.  There is no change to the Hawks game plan from line to line and everyone that has stepped on the ice has played with intensity and drive.   We have talked a lot on the broadcasts about the play of the line of Joey Baker, Taylor Peters and Taylor Leier, and they have effectively shut down the Rockets biggest offensive threats.

And that leads us to Bulmer, who should be the Rockets biggest offensive threat.  Last night it was evident from his opening shift that his focus was not necessarily on hockey when he got nailed for unsportsmanlike conduct for showering Mac Carruth with snow as Carruth covered the puck.  It only went downhill from there for Bulmer who finished the night with two unsportsmanlike minors, two kneeing minors, a kneeing major and a game misconduct.  I’m not sure if any player has received three kneeing penalties in one contest and each one got progressively more dangerous.

For me, you could see the circuits blowing for Bulmer after he was taken out on a tremendous hit from Tyler Wotherspoon in the second period and Bulmer went back to his bench and proceeded to slam his stick on the glass and slam the door once he got into the bench.  From that point on, he was gone mentally, in my opinion.

After the final straw for the hit on William Wrenn, it was important for Baker to step in and knock Bulmer on his can.  What I liked most about it is that Baker did not drop the gloves and start throwing punches, he just ran him over.

Now we wait to find out what additional sanctions, if any, are levied against Bulmer by the WHL.

Photo Credit - The Oregonian

Not to be lost in the shuffle of what happened in game 2 is the 20 save shutout performance of Mac Carruth.  Mac didn’t have to face a ton of shots as the Hawks did a nice job of limiting the Rockets opportunities (including only allowing four shots on five power play chances), but Mac was positionally solid and gave the Rockets nothing.

Maybe it was fitting that Carruth made 20 saves to pick up his 20th career playoff victory on the day before his 20th birthday.

The Rockets spent a lot of time trying to get into Carruth’s kitchen in games 1 and 2 and it had virtually no affect.  That will need to continue in the next two games in Kelowna.



I won’t be able to make the trip to Kelowna, but Todd Vrooman will bring you all the action on



It’s been a while…

But maybe the video above inspired me to write again…who knows.  But, I’m back…at least in some capacity, as I can’t guarantee daily updates or how often I will post, but I’m going to try to get back in the blogging groove, so, dear readers, thanks for stopping by and sticking around.

Here we are, the day before the 2012 WHL Playoffs start for the Portland Winterhawks.  It seems like only days ago that we were filing into the Winterhawks Skating Center getting our first look at what would make up the 2011-12 Winterhawks coming off of the WHL Western Conference Championship last season.

I knew then the Hawks would be a good hockey team, but I didn’t expect a 49 win, 102 point season.  Not with all that the Hawks lost (some expected, some not) to the professional ranks.  Losing two WHL star 19 year old players hurt, but it also opened the door for other players to step forward, and boy did they.

Maybe in Portland we take it for granted, but it is hard to comprehend just how good of a season Ty Rattie and Sven Bartschi had in 2011-12.  Rattie blasted through the 50 goal, 100 point mark as an 18 year old – something that is a major accomplishment.  Rattie transformed his game from being a very good player to a dominant player in the span of a few months after being drafted by the St. Louis Blues.  We all knew he was a special player, but even he would admit that a 121 point season wasn’t in his wildest dreams.

Sven, well…I don’t know if a player has had a better 47 games in the WHL ever in a Winterhawks sweater.  Marian Hossa had 85 points in 53 games in 1997-98.  That may be as close to Sven’s numbers in the past 20 seasons.  To average 2.00 points per game is incredible, but what I like most about Sven’s game is his willingness to initiate contact and do whatever it takes to win.  He just wants the puck and won’t be stopped until he has it and the other team is fishing it out of the net.

This team had depth and Mike Johnston added to that with some deadline deals and getting a bit of a gift when Oliver Gabriel returned from pro hockey in December.

And all of that leads to where we are now…playoffs.  This is what every team fights to get to after 72 games.   The Hawks got very close to the ultimate major junior prize last season and the desire to not be denied that prize again is very prevalent in the locker room.  The team has confidence in their ability.  Some call it a swagger…and maybe they’re right.  But I’d rather enter a room with a swagger than with my head bowed.

It takes 16 wins to have the opportunity to play for the prize.  But, you can’t get to 16 without winning the first one…and the chance for that comes tomorrow at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum against the Kelowna Rockets.  I’ll save the analysis for the extended pre-game show tomorrow that can be heard at 6:20 at and in the building on 96.5 FM.

Win your shift, win the period, win the game and move on to the next.    This team has had the mantra “championship habits” all season.  Now is when the hard work gets rewarded.

Let’s get it going and thanks for checking back with the blog…

Happy New Year

It’s been a while since I posted here…and I’m not really sure what the future holds for this space.

I have increasingly less time to devote to adding commentary to this blog and it seem the convenience of posting things in the 140 character world of Twitter has taken precedence.

I do want to thank those that stop by here from time to time to check it out and who knows, maybe I’ll continue to add updates later on.

For now, you can follow me on Twitter by searching for @AndyKemper.

Happy New Year!

Winterhawks Week in Review, 11/28 – 12/4

12/2/11 – Portland 5 – Everett 1 – Rose Garden:  The Portland Winterhawks extended their home winning streak to eight games with a 5-1 win over the Everett Silvertips .

The Hawks carried play for much of the first period, outshooting Everett 17-5, and scored the lone goal of the first at the 14:00 mark on a power play goal by Oliver Gabriel, who was playing his first game back with the Hawks.
Portland extended the lead at the 3:10 mark of the second when Brendan Leipsic slid a backhand past Silvertips netminder Kent Simpson to make it 2-0, with Gabriel registering an assist for his second point of the night. Everett got on the board with just under three minutes remaining in the second when Josh Birkholz scored to cut Portland’s lead to 2-1 heading into the third period.

The Hawks regained the two-goal lead early in the third when Taylor Leier came out from behind the Everett net and put it past Simpson to make it 3-1 at the 2:39 mark. Portland then made it 4-1 at the 12:24 mark when Sven Bartschi scored on a power play, his 12th of the season, and wrapped up the 5-1 victory on a goal by Chase De Leo with 46.7 seconds remaining.

The Winterhawks held a significant edge in shots on goal throughout the game, finishing with a 43-23 advantage. Mac Carruth stopped 22 of the Everett shots he faced, while his counterpart Simpson made 38 saves for the Silvertips.

Power Plays:  Portland 2 for 4, Everett 0-5

12/3/11 – Portland 7 – Seattle 1 – Rose Garden:  The Portland Winterhawks hosted the annual Teddy Bear Toss Saturday, and for the second straight year it was Ty Rattie bringing out the bears, as he scored 2:52 into the game en route to a 7-1 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Rattie’s goal brought 10,249 stuffed animals cascading onto the ice. It was just the beginning for Rattie, who also had three assists to finish with four points.

It was Portland’s ninth straight home win, and fourth straight overall. They tied a season-high with seven goals, and set a new season-high with 60 shots on goal, including 29 in the first period alone when they scored four times to jump out to an early lead.

Once play resumed after Rattie’s goal, Winterhawks defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon put the Hawks up 2-0 at the 4:42 mark on a shot from the right faceoff circle, his fourth goal of the season. The Hawks then got two goals from Taylor Leier before the end of the period as they took a commanding 4-0 lead into the intermission.

Midway through the second with the Hawks on a 5-on-3 power play, defenseman Joe Morrow fired a slapshot off a one-timer past Seattle netminder Calvin Pickard to make it 5-0. Portland then extended the lead to 6-0 with another power play goal at the 16:43 mark when Brad Ross put it past Pickard. Along with the six-goal lead, Portland took a 45-17 advantage in shots on goal into the second intermission.

Seattle made a goaltending change to open the third period, replacing Pickard with Daniel Cotton, then got on the board with a goal from Burke Gallimore at the 4:31 mark to make it 6-1. But that would be as close as they would get. Portland forward Joey Baker scored his first career WHL goal on a power play at the 18:09 mark to round out the scoring and give the Hawks the 7-1 win.

Mac Carruth was solid in net for Portland, picking up the win with 26 saves on 27 shots. Pickard allowed six goals on 45 shots through two periods. Cotton made 14 saves in relief in the third.

Power Plays:  Portland 4 for 8, Seattle 0 for 3

Week Statistics:

Goals Scored:  Portland 12 – Opponents 2 (Season – Portland 129 – Opponents 102)

Shots:  Portland 103 – Opponents 50 (Season – Portland 1208, Opponents 914)

Power Play:  6 for 12 – 50.0% (Season – 29.9% – 2nd in WHL)

Penalty Kill:  8 for 8 – 100.0% (Season – 82.2% – 3rd in WHL)

Kemper’s Three Stars of the Week:

1.  Ty Rattie:  Ho hum…1-4-5 in 2 games…getting to be old hat for the Rat.

2. Sven Bartschi:  See above…1-3-4 in 2 games.

3.  Mac Carruth:  Quietly, a 2-0-0-0 record with a 1.00 GAA, .960 save %.

Honorable Mentions:

Taylor Leier:  3-0-3 in 2 games

Joey Baker:  1-2-3 in 2 games

Derrick Pouliot:  0-4-4 in 2 games

Milestones Reached:

Joey Baker – 1st Career WHL Goal (12/3)

Roster Moves:

Oliver Gabriel added to roster from Springfield Falcons of the AHL.

Zach Paterson and Tyler Sandhu signed to WHL Education Contracts.

What to watch for in the week ahead:

Back to back games in Prince George followed by a game in Vancouver on Friday and then the Tri-City Americans on Sunday.

No time for me to do much detail, but another busy week for your Winterhawks.

Winterhawks Week in Review – 11/21 – 11/27/11

The Portland Winterhawks finished out a strong November tonight with the win over the Swift Current Broncos.  The month saw the Hawks go 9-2-0-0 in 11 games, including a perfect 5-0-0-0 on home ice.  Here are the week’s scores, for full recaps go to for all four games:

11/22/11 – Portland 5 – Regina 2 – Rose Garden

Power Plays:  Portland 4 for 10, Regina 0 for 4

11/23/11 – Tri City 7 – Portland 6 – Toyota Center

Power Plays:  Portland 1 for 3, Tri City 3 for 8

11/25/11 – Portland 5 – Spokane 3 – Memorial Coliseum

Power Plays:  Portland 1 for 4, Spokane 1 for 3

11/27/11 – Portland 6 – Swift Current 2 – Memorial Coliseum

Power Plays:  Portland 2 for 3, Swift Current 2 for 3

Week Statistics:

Goals:  Portland 22 – Opponents 14 (Season – Portland 117, Opponents 100)

Shots:  Portland 153 – Opponents 164 (Season – Portland 1,105 – Opponents 864)

Power Play:  8 for 20 – 40.0% (Season – 41 for 145 – 28.3% – 3rd in WHL)

Penalty Kill:  12 for 18 – 66.7% (Season – 98 for 121 – 81.0% – 6th in WHL)

Kemper’s Three Stars of the Week:

1.  Ty Rattie:  Fairly easy call here…7-5-12 in four games.

2. Sven Bartschi:  Another fairly easy call…4-8-12 in four games.

3. Joe Morrow:  His number’s would make him #1 most weeks…4-4-8 in four games.

Honorable Mentions:

Troy Rutkowski – 0-4-4 in 4 games

Brad Ross – 2-2-4 in 4 games

Nic Petan – 1-3-4 in 4 games

Milestones Reached:

Taylor Peters – 50th Career WHL Point (11/23)

Derrick Pouliot – 100th Career WHL Game Played (11/25)

Derrick Pouliot – 50th Career WHL Point (11/27)

Mac Carruth – 100th Career WHL Game Played (11/27)

Roster Moves:


What to watch for in the coming week:

The Team Canada World Junior Selection Camp roster will be announced on Monday morning from Edmonton.  Ty Rattie, Joe Morrow and Brad Ross are candidates to be selected to attend the camp later in December.

For games, the Hawks finish out their pre-Christmas home schedule with games on Friday night versus Everett and Saturday night against Seattle with both games coming in the Rose Garden.

The Silvertips have been struggling, going just 5-17-0-4 on the season and they are current last in the Western Conference.  They have only one win in their last 10 games, going 1-7-0-2 during that stretch.  With Tyler Maxwell now gone to the Edmonton Oil Kings, a team that lacks scoring depth is now even more pressured to keep the games low scoring.  Josh Birkholz leads the team with 10-14-24 in 24 games, but no one else on the current roster is close to a point per game.  The ‘Tips may get d-man Ryan Murray back on Friday night after missing 14 games with a high ankle sprain.  He had 3-3-6 in 10 games before the injury.  Kent Simpson is the number one goaltender with 3.70 and .903 in 21 appearances.  Their power play is middle of the pack at #10 (21.7%) while their penalty kill is 17th (75.2%).

The Thunderbirds have played pretty well as of late and have a record of 10-12-0-1 and are fourth in the U.S. Division.  They have gone 5-4-0-1 in their last 10 and had won three straight prior to losing to Kamloops on Saturday night.  Veterans Burke Gallimore (12-7-19 in 23 games) and Marcel Noebels (9-9-18 in 22 games) lead the offense while they have been getting fairly balanced scoring with 10 players having at least 10 points.  Branden Troock was injured again on Saturday vs. Kamloops and may be doubtful on Saturday after putting 5-4-9 in 21 games.   Calvin Pickard’s numbers are improving and are now at 3.52 and .907 and a 10-9-0-1 record in 20 games.  Their power play is 17th (19.1%) while their penalty kill sits at 16th (76.2%).

Don’t forget Saturday is the Teddy Bear Toss night…so bring your bears!

Winterhawks Week in Review – November 14-20, 2011

11/18/11 – Portland 7 – Everett 3 – Comcast Arena:  The Portland Winterhawks won their sixth straight game Friday night with a 7-3 road win over the Everett Silvertips.

Sven Bartschi continued his torrid play with three assists, his fourth straight game with three points. Bartschi has 16 points overall during the winning streak, and a nine-game points streak dating back to before his injury, a streak in which he’s posted an incredible 26 points.

Linemate Ty Rattie scored to extend his goal streak to six games, and he’s also posted 16 points during the winning streak.

Portland opened the scoring 6:10 into the game on a goal by defenseman Troy Rutkowski, and took a 2-0 lead at the 15:02 mark on the first goal of the season from recently-acquired forward Dillon Wagner.

The Hawks extended the lead to 3-0 at the 5:59 mark of the second on a power play goal by Brad Ross, his 14th of the season. The Silvertips got on the board at the 7:44 mark on a goal by Brennan Yadlowski to make it 3-1, but the Hawks went back up by three when Rattie scored his 20th goal of the season with a power play marker to put Portland up 4-1 at the 12:34 mark. Just over a minute later Everett’s JT Barnett scored to make it 4-2 heading into the third.

Portland then put the game out of reach with three straight goals to open the third period, taking a 7-2 lead on goals by Taylor Leier, Rutkowski and Charles Wells. Everett got one back on a goal by Nick Walter to make it 7-3, which would stand as the final.

Mac Carruth picked up the win net for Portland, stopping 33 of 36 shots. Everett netminder Kent Simpson allowed seven Portland goals on 48 shots.

Power Plays:  Portland 3 for 6, Everett 2 for 6

11/19/11 – Seattle 6 – Portland 3 – ShoWare Center:  The Seattle Thunderbirds (9-11-0-0) would score five second period goals and get 47 saves from Calvin Pickard to hand the Portland Winterhawks (14-8-1-1) their first loss in seven games by a margin of 6-3 at the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA.

Portland opened the scoring just 1:41 into the first period when Taylor Peters won a faceoff in the offensive zone back to Derrick Pouliot who fed a pass to Charles Wells for the goal, the second goal in as many nights for Wells.   Seattle would tie the score just over one minute later and Chance Lund got a loose puck in center ice and had his first attempt on a breakaway stopped by Portland goaltender Brendan Burke, but the second effort was put home by Lund and the two teams would be tied 1-1 after the first period.  Portland out-shot Seattle 13-12 in the opening twenty minutes.

The Thunderbirds would take their first lead just seconds into the second period on a goal by Burke Gallimore, but Portland would tie it at 2-2 on a wrist shot by Peters, assisted by Wells and Taylor Leier just over two minutes later.  Seattle would break open the game with four goals in just under seven minutes to take a 6-2 lead on a short handed goal by Luke Lockhart,  and even strength goals by Dave Sutter, Gallimore and Shea Theordore.  Burke was replaced by Mac Carruth after the sixth goal and In the final two minutes of the period, Sven Bartschi would earn a penalty shot on a partial breakaway, but his attempt hit the post behind Pickard.  Just seconds later, Portland would respond with a goal on a wrist shot by Joe Morrow, set up by a face-off win by Seth Swenson.  Portland out-shot Seattle 16-10 in the period, but trailed 6-3 after the middle frame.

Neither team could dent the twine in the third period, with Portland once again out-shooting Seattle 18-8 in the final period for a 50-33 advantage during the game.

Pickard would pick up the victory for Seattle making 47 saves on 50 shots while Burke took the loss for Portland, stopping 16 of 22 in 33:12 of game action.  Carruth would stop all 11 shots he faced in relief in just under 27 minutes.

Power Plays:  Portland 0 for 5, Seattle 0 for 6

Week Statistics:

Goals:  Portland 10 – Opponents 9 (Season – Portland 95 – Opponents 86)

Shots:  Portland 98 – Opponents 69 (Season – Portland 952 – Opponents 701)

Power Play:  3 for 11 – 27.3% (Season – 33 for 125 – 26.4% – 3rd in WHL)

Penalty Kill:  10 for 12 – 83.3% (Season – 86 for 103 – 83.5% – 2nd in WHL)

Kemper’s Three Stars of the Week:

1. Taylor Peters – 1-3-4 and a +6 in two games.

2. Charles Wells – 2-2-4 and a +5 in two games.

3. Taylor Leier – 1-2-3 and a +4 in two games.

Honorable Mentions:

Troy Rutkowski – 2-1-3 in two games.

Derrick Pouliot – 0-2-2 in two games.

Milestones Reached:

Brad Ross – 225th Career WHL Game Played (11/18)

Roster Moves:


What to watch for in the upcoming week:

It will be a busy week for the Winterhawks with four games in six nights starting tomorrow night at the Rose Garden against the Regina Pats.

The Pats are fourth in a very tough Eastern Division, sitting at 12-8-1-1 (26 points) after 22 games.  They started off their U.S. Division swing with a 6-5 shootout loss to Spokane on Saturday night.  They are led by 19 year old center Jordan Weal, who has posted 10-23-33 in 21 games and is a +15.  On defense, Brandon Davidson has good offensive numbers with 6-14-20 in 22 games.  In goal, Matt Hewitt has been the workhorse, appearing in 19 games with a 12-5-1-1 record and a 2.50 GAA and a .914 save %.

On Wednesday, the Hawks travel to Kennewick to take on the Tri City Americans for the fourth time this season.  The Americans have won the first three games of the season series and lead the U.S. Division with a 16-6-0-0 record (32 points) after 22 games.  Overage forward Adam Hughesman leads the Ams offensively with 15-21-36 in 22 games while Justin Feser, Brendan Shinnimin and Patrick Holland are all averaging at least a point per game.  Zachary Yuen leads the defense with 4-7-11 in 22 games.  In net, it has been almost split duties between Ty Rimmer (14 GP, 10-3-0-0, 1.77, .941) and Eric Comrie (10 GP, 6-3-0-0, 3.16, .883).

Friday afternoon brings the Spokane Chiefs back to Portland for the daylight classic at 3:00 at the Memorial Coliseum.  Portland won the first two games of the season series on home ice, one in a shootout, the other in overtime.  The Chiefs currently sit third in the U.S. Division at 10-5-1-2 (23 points) but have played the fewest games of any team in the WHL.  Anthony Bardaro has returned from injury and leads the Chiefs with 10-12-22 in 16 games played.  Brenden Kichton has 2-13-15 from the blueline for Spokane.  Mac Engel has appeared in 15 games with a record of 8-5-1-1, 2.71 and .898.

Lastly, the Hawks host the Swift Current Broncos on Sunday evening at the MC.  The Broncos are currently at 10-11-2-1 (23 points) and fifth in the Eastern Division.  They boast the WHL’s top power play unit, sitting at 32.1% after this past weekend’s games.  Overage forward Taylor Vause leads the way with 13-18-31 after 24 games while Adam Lowry and Coda Gordon each average over a point per game.  Reece Scarlett leads the way for defensemen, posting 4-17-21 in 23 games.  Overage Jon Groenheyde was acquired from Edmonton to be the number one goaltender, and he has appeared in 19 games with a 8-6-1-2 record, 3.89 and .881.

Winterhawks Week in Review – November 7-13, 2011

11/11/11 – Portland 6 – Spokane 5 (SO) – Rose Garden – The first game back home for the Portland Winterhawks after the long 17 day, nine game odyssey and it was a barn burner as the Hawks, who never led during the game, tied it late and then won in a six round shootout over the Chiefs.

Spokane would lead 2-1 after 20 minutes on an even-strength goal by Mike Aviani and a power play goal by Marek Kalus.  Portland would sandwich a short-handed marker by Taylor Peters in between the two Chiefs goals, on a rebound that bounced in off Spokane defenseman Brenden Kichton’s skate.

In the second, Portland would tie the score at 2-2 on a power play goal by Brad Ross, but Steven Kuhn would regain the lead on a power play goal of his own 8:30 into the middle frame.  Ty Rattie would tie the score again on the power play, but just 54 seconds later, Darren Kramer would score on a two-on-one to make it 4-3 Chiefs after two periods.

Rattie with yet another power play goal would tie it at 4-4 halfway through the second period, but again the Chiefs would answer quickly, and again it was just 54 seconds later on a goal by Connor Chartier.  The Hawks pulled goaltender Mac Carruth in the final minute and they capitalized when Sven Bartschi (with his third assist on the night) would set up Ross for his second goal of the night to force overtime.

No scoring in overtime, and the shootout would se Kalus, Jarid Hauptman and Aviani score for Spokane while Rattie, Bartschi and Brendan Leipsic would counter for Portland.  In the sixth round, Taylor Leier would score and Carruth stopped Reid Gow to preserve the Hawks fourth shootout win in five attempts this season.

Carruth would stop 32 of 37 for the victory while Mac Engel would handle 35 of 40 in the loss.

Power Plays:  Portland 3 for 6, Spokane 2 for 7

11/12/11 – Portland 4 – Spokane 3 (OT) – Rose Garden – A role reversal from the night before as Portland would take the early lead only to see Spokane tie the game in the third, but in overtime, a fantastic play would seal the victory for the Hawks to extend their winning streak to five games.

The Hawks would score first on the power play when on a faceoff in the defensive zone, linesman Brian Fortin waited and motioned for Steven Kuhn of the Chiefs to line up for the draw and when he didn’t, Fortin dropped the puck and Ross got the puck to Rattie and sprung up the right wing.  Rattie fed it back to Ross and his wrister from the right circle slipped under the arm of Engle for the 1-0 lead.  Just 23 seconds later, Rattie took a feed from Bartschi in neutral ice, crossed the line and fired a wrister top corner from the top of the circles to make it 2-0 after one period for Portland.

In the second, Spokane would get one back on a fluky play when Portland knocked the puck off the back of the goal in behind Carruth and it popped up and over the net in the crease where Kramer banged it home to make it 2-1.  Rattie would score again halfway through the period, set up by Bartschi on a two-on-one for his league leading 10th power play goal of the season.

In the third, Kichton would throw a bad angle shot on net that Carruth would stop, but when trying to knock it out of the air and out of trouble, it bounced off of Carruth’s stick and into the net to make it 3-2.  A little over 90 seconds later, Collin Valcourt would tip in a rebound of a Tanner Mort shot and it was even at 3-3 and headed to overtime.

Just 30 seconds into OT, Tyler Wotherspoon would feed Ty Rattie and Rattie would carry it into the offensive zone, spinning 360 degrees in the left circle and feeding a perfect pass to Bartschi who got behind the defense and he made no mistake, filing the backhand to provide the winner.

Carruth would stop 27 of 30 for the win for Portland while Engel made 47 saves on 51 shots to earn the road point for the Chiefs.

Power Plays:  Portland 2 for 6, Spokane 0 for 2

Week Statistics:

Goals:  Portland 10 – Opponents 8 (Season – Portland 85 – Opponents 77)

Shots:  Portland 92 – Opponents 67 (Season – Portland 854 – Opponents 632)

Power Play:  5 for 13 38.5% (Season – 30 for 114 – 26.3% – 3rd in WHL)

Penalty Kill:  7 for 9 77.8% (Season – 76 for 91 – 83.5% – 3rd in WHL)

Kemper’s Three Stars of the Week:

1 – Ty Rattie – Pretty easy selection here…4-3-7 in two games and now on a career high five game goal streak with 8 goals in those five games.

2 – Sven Bartschi – 1-5-6 in two games, now on a career high eight game assist streak with 18 assists in those eight games.

3 – Brad Ross – 3-0-3 in two games.

Honorable Mentions:

Joe Morrow – 0-3-3 in one game

Milestones Reached:

Ty Rattie – 150th career WHL Point (11/11)

Joe Morrow – 100th career WHL Point (11/11)

Taylor Peters – 200th career WHL Game Played (11/11)

Roster Moves:

Dillon Wagner – Activated from Injury List (11/11)

Tyler Parker – Released (11/7)

What to watch for in the upcoming week:

No mid-week games in the WHL this week as the Subway Super Series takes part with two games in Regina and Moose Jaw on Wednesday and Thursday.  Ty Rattie, Brad Ross and Joe Morrow will all play for Team WHL (Canada) against Team Russia in Regina on Wednesday night.  All three will be back with the Hawks in time for the two games next weekend in the Puget Sound.

On Friday, the Hawks take on the Everett Silvertips looking to avenge the road loss the Hawks suffered in October at the Comcast Arena.  The ‘Tips are struggling this year, going just 5-14-0-3 in 22 games and are last in the Western Conference.  Add in they have lost top d-man Ryan Murray to injury and all-time leading goal scorer Tyler Maxwell due to a trade request and subsequent removal from the roster and it has been a tough few months for new Head Coach Mark Ferner.  Josh Birkholz has been a bright spot, garnering 9-12-21 in 22 games while Kent Simpson has a respectable .909 save percentage in net.

On Saturday, the Hawks move south to Kent to renew their rivalry with the Seattle Thunderbirds.  Portland has won the first two meetings of the season and will look to make it three straight against new ‘Birds Coach and former Winterhawk Steve Konowalchuk.  The ‘Birds are 7-11-0-0 after 18 games and are led by Marcel Noebels (8-7-15 in 17 games) and Burke Gallimore (8-3-11 in 18 games).  Seattle has retooled their blue line, bringing in Kyle Verdino, Brad Deagle, Cason Machacek and Braden Laroque via trades from the Eastern Conference.  Branden Troock has also returned from long-term injury and has 3-3-6 in 18 games played.  Calvin Pickard’s numbers aren’t where they have been the past three seasons, sitting at 4.03 GAA and a .893 save %.

Lest We Forget…


by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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