Ah yes, the final game before the holiday break…traditionally known as the Sugarplum game…I don’t think that will be the case tonight.
Hawks Notes: Medicine Hat @ Portland – December 13, 2008
Previous Game – Prince George 4 @ Portland 3 (OT): The Prince George Cougars rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period and then got the overtime winner from Marcus Watson to defeat the Portland Winter Hawks by a 4-3 margin at the Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. The Cougars tied the game with just three seconds remaining in the third period when Brett Connolly tipped in a loose puck in front of the Winter Hawks goal. Portland took an early 2-0 lead in the first period when Radim Valchar put home a power play wrist shot from the slot and Luke Walker banged home a rebound in the opening fifteen minutes of the first period. The Cougars would get a goal back with just three seconds remaining the first period when it was ruled that Brian Matte’s shot went over Kurtis Mucha and in to make it 2-1 at the end of the opening period. Killian Hutt gave the Hawks their two goal lead back with a two-man advantage power play goal off a feed from Walker. Chris Francis would have two assists on the night for Portland. The Cougars got a power play goal from Matte with just over eight minutes remaining in the final period to cut the lead to one. On special teams, Portland would go 2 for 3 on the power play while Prince George would finish 1 for 8. Mucha stopped 45 of 49 shots in the loss for Portland while Kevin Armstrong handled 24 of 27 in the victory.
Team Notes: Portland is (8-23-1-0); (5-9-1-0) at home (0-2-0-0 in Rose Garden); (3-14-0-0) on the road. The Hawks last home win was on December 2, 2008, a 4-1 win over Kootenay. The last road win was on November 7, 2008, a 2-1 win over Spokane.
Portland vs. Medicine Hat: This is the first and only meeting between the two teams. Last year, Kurtis Mucha made 41 saves to lead the Winter Hawks to a 4-3 win in Medicine Hat. The Tigers outshot Portland 44-22 with Portland scoring all four goals in the opening period. Both teams went 1 for 3 (33.3%) on the power play. The last win for Portland on home ice vs. Medicine Hat was on 11/24/04, a 3-1 win.
12/13/08 – Medicine Hat @ Portland
All-Time vs. Medicine Hat:
Total: 66 GP – 39 (W) – 25 (L) – 1 (T) – 1 (OTL) – 0 (SOL)
At Home: 32 GP – 27-5-0-0-0 – On Road: 34 GP – 12-20-1-1-0
Total: 2336 GP – 1135 (W) – 1037 (L) – 127 (T) – 29 (OTL) – 8 (SOL)
At Home: 1167 GP – 715-380-61-8-3 – On Road: 1169 GP – 420-657-66-21-5
Regular Season Leaders:
Goals: Radim Valchar/Luke Walker (9)
Assists: Chris Francis/Radim Valchar (11)
Points: Radim Valchar (20)
Penalty Minutes: Brett Ponich (54)
GAA: Kurtis Mucha (3.80)
Save Percentage: Kurtis Mucha (89.5%)
Power Play: 17 for 146 (11.6%) overall – 8 for 69 (11.6%) at home
Penalty Kill: 111 of 151 (73.5%) overall – 58 for 73 (79.5%) at home
Current Streaks: Chris Francis (0-3-3 in last 2); Radim Valchar (1-2-3 in last 2); Luke Walker (2-1-3 in last 2).
Injuries & Roster Updates: Jason Grecica, F, Knee (Indefinite); Nick Dietrich, F, Wrist (Indefinite). The Hawks have lost 84 man games to injury in 2008-09. Radim Valchar has been selected to try out for the Czech Republic World Jr. Team in Brampton, Ontario, starting on December 15, 2008.
Three Named to Team Pacific: Keith Hamilton, Brad Ross and Troy Rutkowski were all named to represent Team Pacific at the World U17 Championships to be held in Port Alberni, BC, from December 29, 2008 – January 4, 2009.
Milestones: Kurtis Mucha has played a career total of 9,658 minutes played, and is now 2nd all-time for minutes played by a Winter Hawk goaltender, currently 102 minutes behind Lanny Ramage on the all-time list. Brett Ponich needs two games played to reach 100 in his WHL career.
Winter Hawks Season Highs and Lows:
Most Goals Scored: 7 (11/9/08 vs. Kamloops, 7-5 win)
Fewest Goals Scored: 0 (Seven Times)
Most Goals Allowed: 7 (Three Times)
Fewest Goals Allowed: 1 (Five Times)
Most Power Play Chances: 10 (10/18/08 @ Moose Jaw, 5-4 loss)
Most Power Play Chances Against: 9 (Twice)
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 2 (Five Times)
Most Power Play Goals Allowed: 4 (10/21/08 @ Prince Albert, 7-0 loss)
Most Shots Taken: 40 (9/20/08 vs. Spokane, 3-0 loss)
Fewest Shots Taken: 17 (9/21/08 vs. Kelowna, 2-1 win)
Most Shots Allowed: 49 (Twice)
Fewest Shots Allowed: 19 (11/18/08 @ Chilliwack, a 2-0 loss)
Last Shutout: N/A
Last Time Shutout: 11/28/08 @ Everett (Barrie, 22 Saves – 3-0 loss)
Overtime Game Winning Goals: Rutkowski 10/22 vs. Saskatoon
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