Saturday Thoughts…

A solid road win for the Portland Winter Hawks last night in Tri City…they weren’t fancy, they played a bit of a bend-don’t break style and capitalized when they got their chances.

They did get a big break, in my opinion, when Referee Pat Smith allowed the third goal to stand when it looked like it was directed in by either the glove or high-stick of Brad Ross.  It came at a crucial time in the final four minutes that gave the Hawks a two-goal cushion.  As I said on the air, it has been awhile since Portland got a break like that.

With the win, the Hawks remain undefeated on Halloween night in 8 games during their history – the Hawks have won 7 and tied 1 on Halloween night.

It was good to see Kurtis Mucha step up and play the style of game that we all know that he is capable of.  He passed a couple of milestones last night as well – moving past Darrell May, Sr. in minutes played with 8797, and his now second all-time in the Hawks record list for that category and also facing the 5,000th shot of his WHL career.  He is at 5,009 and counting.

Lanny Ramage is the all-time minutes leader for the Hawks with 9760, so Mucha is 963 minutes (or just over 16 full games) behind Ramage in that category.

The empty-net goal scored by Radim Valchar last night was the first empty-net goal scored by a Winter Hawk since 2/3/07, when Scott Gabriel scored into the empty net during a 5-2 win over Seattle at Key Arena.  That is a span of 105 games.

The win last night also snapped a 9 game losing streak for the Hawks in Tri City.  The last win prior to last night was on 12/10/06, a 4-2 win.

The return of Brock Cornish, Chris Francis and Tayler Jordan to the line-up last night was a side story that really turned out to be a non-story.  With the change in ownership, every player starts with a clean slate with the new coaching staff and there is a focus on playing and acting like a team.

Brett Ponich went looking for the game-puck after the team finished their group celebration on the ice last night, but there wasn’t one after Tyler Schmidt dumped it into the crowd as he was leaving the ice.  Not only did I think it was a classless move by Schmidt, he endangered fans who were not expecting a puck to fly into their section after the final buzzer.  Luckily he didn’t hit anyone, but I saw more than one person duck to get out of the way.

Ponich did get a game-puck from the scorers table to present to Mike Johnston for his first career WHL victory.

In the Halloween spirit, the movie selection upon leaving Tri City was a horror movie – The Strangers– and it was a pretty good movie, although I’m not big on horror movies.

Finally, for those that inquired, and on a personal note…my daughter Aiden took part in her swim team’s swim-a-thon this morning and she swam 67 lengths in two hours…that equates to 3,350 yards (850 more yards than she did last year).

I’m tired and all I did was watch and count laps.

That’s it for now…

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4 Comments

  1. That’s a heck of a lot of swimming. Good for her!

  2. Andy,

    My wife Cathy (Corresponding secretary for the Booster Club) took in the DVD The Strangers to the Hawk Office prior to them heading on the road.

    I got the DVD from Chloe Houser with KPDX to give to a player, well it’s funny that the whole team got to see it! We’re watching our copy tonight!

    I have several conmnections with radio stations etc and if I get something that I figure the players would enjoy, we make sure they are aware of it.

    Glad they enjoyed the movie!

    BTW great to see our guys on the web last night, we are looking forward to Wednesday with renewed enthusiasm!

    Stuart Kemp
    President
    Portland Winter Hawks Booster Club
    http://www.pwhbc.com

  3. Congrats to the boys on a much needed win, and congrats to Johnston and company on their first WHL win!

    Congrats to Aiden as well, heck of a swimmer already it sounds like!

  4. IT SOUNDED LIKE A DIFFERENT TEAM FRIDAY NIGHT.
    I THINK THE COACHING STAFF WENT INTO THE GAME THINKING, WE DON’T HAVE THE MOST GIFTED SCORERS IN THE LEAGUE. SO LET’S TRY TO LIMIT THEIR OPPORTUNITIES AND TRY TO CAPITALIZE ON WHAT THEY GIVE US. AND IT WORKED.
    I THINK THE FACT WE WEREN’T OUTSHOT 54-23 IS AN IMPROVEMENT. BUT WE WERE OUTSHOT. OVERALL, A GOOD START IN THE “NEW ERA”.


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