Tough Weekend…

Three games in three nights equalled three losses for the Portland Winter Hawks this weekend, all in the State of Washington…21 hours on the bus added in and it made for a long weekend.

There isn’t much you can say about the 8-0 loss to Spokane on Friday.  It was ugly…and I was disappointed in the effort level put forth by the majority of the Hawks roster.   The team did have considerable better efforts against Seattle and Tri City, but they both wind up in 5-3 losses.

There were some positives out of the weekend, including Ty Rattie getting his first WHL regular season experience and not looking out of place.  His goal on Saturday in Kent was nice, going to the front of the net and getting rewarded with a rebound of a Luke Walker shot that bounced off the skate of Chris Francis onto the stickblade of Rattie who wasted no time in filing it top shelf.    Rattie also made some nice plays to set up both Francis and Walker last night in Tri City, but neither could finish their chance.

Francis did rebound after having his 12 game point streak ended in the shutout on Friday night.  He had back-to-back two assist games, giving him 21 points accumulated in 14 of his last 15 games.

There was some controversy on the Devon LeBlanc hit on Kurtis Mucha on Saturday night in Kent and when I saw it live, it was hard to discern just how much Joe Morrow’s contact on LeBlanc had an effect on the heavy collision.  After watching the replay, yes Morrow did bump LeBlanc.  Did LeBlanc do all that he could to avoid contact with Mucha?  In my opinion…no.  It looked like he felt the contact and then lowered his shoulder to make contact.  It is hard to determine intent, but that is the way I saw it.  I do believe that matching minors were warranted on the play, but Jason Nissen saw it differently.

In the end, Mucha is OK (thankfully) and he played pretty well against Tri City.

Also, nice to see Daniel Johnston back healthy and playing well…scoring a pretty goal last night with a hard wrister from the circle after jumping into the rush from the blueline.  It was the second career WHL goal for Johnston, as he had a power play in Key Arena at the end of last season.

It was interesting to talk with folks who witnessed the Spokane/Tri City festivities on Saturday night.  Of course, I was only getting the Americans point of view, but its obvious that the hard feelings won’t subside soon.  It should be interesting when the two teams meet again at the Toyota Center later in the month.  Any chance that Kevin Muench will be in attendance at that game for the WHL?

No official word on if either team has signed Ogie Oglethorpe to a WHL contract…

After this weekend, the Hawks now have four players with over 100 penalty minutes:

Tayler Jordan – 145, Brett Ponich – 107, Travis Ehrhardt – 103,  Brad Ross – 102

The last Hawk team to have four over the century mark was 2006-07:

Frazer McLaren – 186, Tayler Jordan – 137, Scott Gabriel – 120, Max Gordichuk – 107

Riley Boychuk (84) and Ryan Kerr (80) are the next closest to the 100 mark.  The last Hawk team with more than four players over 100 was in in 2004-05 when eight players broke the mark.

Chris Francis now has 39 assists, the most since Brandon Dubinsky (46) and Jannik Hansen (40) both hit the 40 assist mark in 2005/06.

Francis is scheduled to play in his 200th career WHL game on Tuesday vs. Everett.

Congrats to Kelowna Rocket broadcaster Regan Bartel on reaching the 1,000 game plateau as a WHL broadcaster.

That’s it for now…

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4 Comments

  1. Andy – I have heard that the Chiefs are looking to see if Mick Vukota, Kerry Toparaski (sp?), and Link Goetz have any eligibility left –

    The Ams are tryin to get a weekends work from Aaron Boogard and Kevin “The Nasty” Mirasty –

    Sorry for the butchered spelling of names –

  2. Some scoring milestones that you should mention as well.

    Francis is the first 50 pointer since the 2005-06 season

    Walker is the first 20 goal scorer since 2006-07 though Klinkhammer didn’t finish the season in Portland. If Valchar scores another goal it will be the first time since 2005-06 that the Hawks have had two or more 20 goal scorers.

    It’s the first time in two seasons that the Hawks have had two 40 point players. If Valchar gets 4 more points it will be the first time since 2005-06 that the Hawks have had 2 or more 40 pointers.

    Cheers

  3. Andy-

    You said there were some Ams/Chiefs “festivities” last saturday. What happened?

  4. Bryan…go to http://www.youtube.com and search on Tri City/Spokane 2/28/09 or Ryan Letts and you should see the festivities.

    AK


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