Monday Thoughts…

It was an interesting weekend to say the least…the big win on Friday in Spokane, the disappointing loss to Red Deer on Saturday and the thrilling come-from-behind win over Kamloops last night.  One thing is certain, the Portland Winter Hawks of 2008-09 cannot be considered boring.

First off, I want to wish all the best to Scott Gabriel.  Gabes is a heart and soul type of player and person who always gave his best for the team.  A vocal leader who always stood up for his teammates, regardless of the score or time of the game.

Gabriel was guilty a lot of nights of penalties by reputation as a lot of calls that were ignored when other people committed them were whistled when Gabriel was involved.  You have to earn that reputation, I guess, and Gabriel did his fair share to do that, but it was tough to watch some nights.

The Gabriel family is still represented by younger brother Oliver, but I will miss seeing Scott on the bus and around the rink.

Andy Potter asked about the waved off empty-net goal last night, and I questioned it as well on the broadcast at the time.  In the end, the call was correct as per the WHL Rule Book, Rule 78.5, section iii:

Disallowed Goals — Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee and the appropriate announcement made by the Public Address Announcer for the following reasons:

iii – When the puck has deflected directly into the net by an official.

Case closed…but you have to feel for the still goalless Brett Ponich.

I have to admit that I was feeling pretty deflated after the two periods last night…I honestly didn’t expect the five goal outburst by the Hawks, especially in the final period of a four game in five night stretch.

There was one shift that may have turned the tide for the Hawks and that was when Hawks d-man Ryan Kerr went in on the forecheck and delivered three big hits a shift or two before Killian Hutt got his two goals in 24 seconds.  It was almost a wake-up call to the bench and I described Kerr as a “bull in a china shop” on the air.

You never know some nights what will change the momentum…

Back to Saturday…it was great to see former Hawk Ray Ferraro and his wife Cammi Granato in the building to watch son Landon take on the Hawks.

Ferraro is the proverbial “one that got away” after the 1983 Memorial Cup.  He was injured much of that season but still put up 90 points (41-49-90) in just 50 games.  With both Ken Yaremchuk and Rich Kromm both supposed to return to the Hawks the next year, it was determined that Ferraro was “expendable” and he was packaged with four other players to Brandon for Blaine Chrest.  (Both Yaremchuk and Kromm stuck in the NHL as underage players the next season.)

Ferraro went on to a 108 goal season for the Wheat Kings to set a record that will never be broken, IMO, and a tremendous NHL career that has led him to a TSN Broadcast booth.

Speaking of the younger Ferraro…he is a pleasure to watch and will be a top scorer in this league before he is done.

Oh…and that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins isn’t bad either.

On Friday night…Kurtis Mucha stole the show in the win over Spokane.  It was probably his best performance since the 2006 playoffs against the Vancouver Giants.

We haven’t seen that spectacular form in Portland yet this year from Mukes, but he is starting to roll a bit.

In his last four starts, Mucha is 3-1 with a 3.01 GAA and a 91.8% save percentage.

With the win last night, the Hawks home record on November 9th remains perfect…7-0-0-0-0…on the all-time record.  (Ironically, the Hawks have never won on the road on November 9th, going 0-5-0-0-0.)

The seven goals scored last night was the most since the Hawks scored eight times in an 8-3 win over Spokane on 11/23/05 (also the last time that Portland had won in Spokane prior to Friday night). 

The last time Portland scored seven goals on home ice was on 2/15/05, a 7-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels.

The last time that Portland had scored at least seven goals against Kamloops was on 1/25/98, an 8-3 win at the Rose Garden.

The fifth goal scored by Kamloops last night was the 10,000th goal surrendered by Portland in their team history…Alex Rodgers gets credit for that.

Chris Francis scored the 10,000th goal for Portland last season and the scoring race now looks like:

Portland — 10,136 goals

Opponents — 10,000 goals

Thats it for now…more later this week.

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7 Comments

  1. Did Scott Gabriel get traded ???

  2. Not traded, but he is waiting reassignment or a trade, he is not on the Hawks active roster.

  3. IF SOMEBODY DOESN’T WANT TO BE HERE, THE LET’S TRY TO MEET HIS WISHES. I’M GLAD JOURDAN AND FRANCIS HAD A CHANGE OF HEART.
    DESPITE THE UNBELIEVABLE THIRD PERIOD PERFORMANCE LAST NIGHT, MY GUT TELLS ME THAT 3 OR 4 ROSTER MOVES MIGHT TAKE PLACE. MAYBE WE’LL SEE HOW WE PERFORM AGAINST VANCOUVER FIRST. MY VIEW OF THE LINE-UP SHEET LAST NIGHT, I FIGURE THERE ARE ABOUT 10 PLAYERS THAT I SEE WE COULD BUILD AROUND. I WON’T GO AS FAR AS USING THE WORD “UNTOUCHABLE”, BUT A “CORE” OF YOUTH TO BUILD AROUND.

  4. I’ll miss Scott Gabriel. I loved LOVED his comments on the forum to his teammates and thought most of the fan comments back to him were class act. This young man is a good person and I am proud to call him a Winter Hawk.

  5. I’m sure its tough to be the odd man out, but if your sweater has an “A” on it when you walk away, it has to make it a little better, I would think.

    Godspeed, young man!

  6. Scott will be missed by this family. Off the ice he was kind to the fans especially the young ones and always took the time to take a picture or just shoot the breeze! Thanks Scott for being a great guy and someone we were proud to see wear a Hawks jersey!

  7. Is scott really gone?? Will he ever be back?? or is he gone forever?? Did he quit or dd the team let him go?? so many questions!!


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