If you haven’t already, go to www.winterhawks.com and you will find the 2009-10 tentative Winterhawks schedule, one that starts on Friday, September 19 at the ShoWare Center in Kent against the Seattle Thunderbirds and ends on Saturday, March 13, 2010, in the very same building. What happens in the 70 games between those visits to Kent should be quite interesting as the Hawks look to make the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
The schedule is road heavy at the start with the Hawks playing only five home games in the first quarter of the season, a stretch where the long Central Swing takes place from October 15-23, starting in the Northernmost locale of Edmonton against the Oil Kings and wrapping in the Southernmost city of Cranbrook, taking on the Kootenay Ice.
A breakdown by quarters:
Q1 – 5 home/13 away
Q2 – 10 home/8 away
Q3 – 11 home/7 away
Q4 – 10 home/8 away
Of the first 18 games, only eight will be against U.S. Divison Rivals.
A breakdown by month:
September – 4 games (2 home/2 away)
October – 13 games (3 home/10 away)
November – 13 games (8 home/5 away)
December – 11 games (7 home/4 away)
January – 13 games (7 home/6 away)
February – 12 games (6 home/6 away)
March – 6 games (4 home/2 away)
A few games of note:
Sunday, October 18 @ Calgary – The first game for former Hawk Head Coach Mike Williamson against his former team at the Saddledome and I believe that this will be a 2:00 (Mountain time, 1:00 Pacific time) afternoon start.
Tuesday, October 27 vs. Brandon – One of these teams for sure will be in the 2010 Memorial Cup…the Wheat Kings bring Brayden Schenn and a host of others into Portland for what should be one of the more entertaining games this year.
Saturday, November 14 vs. Kelowna – The first visit of the WHL Champs.
Thursday, December 31 vs. Seattle – The annual New Years Eve game with a later start this year – 8:00 PM.
Sunday, January 31 @ Vancouver – This game will be played at the Langley Events Centre instead of the Pacific Coliseum as the Giants are being forced out of their home due to the 2010 Winter Olympics invading Vancouver from early January through early March.
Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13 @ Prince George – The lone visit to Prince George…nothing like a Friday night in PG in February…
Only four three game in three night stretches…
Sept 25-27 (@ TC, vs. Sea, vs. PG)
Oct 9-11 (vs. TC, vs. PA, @ Evt)
Jan 22-24 (vs. Evt, @ Sea, vs. Van)
Jan 29-31 (@ Evt, vs. Sea, @ Van)
Worst two game stretch…Friday, Jan 15 @ Kelowna followed by Saturday, Jan 16 @ Tri City…we did this last year as well and the drive between the Okanagan and Kennewick is a long one overnight. Hopefully the weather will be decent and the number of deer in the road will be less (the bus hit two deer last year on this stretch in Northern Washington!).
Lastly, good luck to Brad Ross and Troy Rutkowski as they will be taking part in the Canada U18 camp starting tomorrow in Calgary, trying to earn a spot on Team Canada that will take part in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Czech/Slovakia in mid-August.
That’s it for now…
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