Good Opening Night…

Not a bad way to start the 2009-10 season for the Portland Winterhawks…a start to finish 5-0 win over their I-5 rival Seattle Thunderbirds.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was a continuation of the type of play we saw from the Hawks in the preseason.

Going back to last season, the Hawks have now outscored Seattle 14-1 in the last two games at the ShoWare Center.

This continues a trend in Hawks road openers…a shutout for the third straight year.  Only this time, it was the Hawks blanking the opponent behind Ian Curtis’ 24 saves.  The past two seasons, the Hawks opened the season being shutout by Chilliwack in 2007-08 and by Everett in 2008-09, both by scores of 2-0.

For Curtis, it was his first career WHL shutout in his 41st career appearance.  He breaks the Kurtis Mucha string as Mucha had recorded the last eight shutouts for Portland in the last four seasons.

As I mentioned last night, this was the second time in Hawks history that they opened a season with a shutout…the previous one came all the way back on September 28, 1978 when Bart Hunter blanked the Seattle Breakers by a score of…you guessed it…5-0.  Hunter made 32 saves on that night.

In fact, the Hawks have only shutout Seattle in their own building three times in their history…Hunter’s in 1978, Curtis’ last night and the other was on March 12, 1996 when Tim Winters made 25 saves when the Hawks beat the Thunderbirds by a score of…wait for it….5-0.

I don’ t make this stuff up…

Nino Niederreiter (whose name pronunciation eluded the TBird’s PA announcer all night long) had a great start to his WHL career with a three point night.

In case you were wondering, Niederreiter has a ways to go to set the Hawks team record for most points by a 17 year old rookie…that is held by NHL Hall of Famer Cam Neely, who had 120 points in 1982-83.

But, he is on pace for 216…

Troy Rutkowski led all 16 year old d-men in goals scored last year with 6…he is one third of the way to that total after one game.

Last year, Stefan Elliot led 17 year old d-men with 16 goals for the Saskatoon Blades.

On the broadcast front…I thought last night was a good debut for Todd and myself on Freedom 970 KCMD…it went off without a hitch and I know I had a lot of fun calling the game.

If anyone has any feedback on the broadcast or thoughts on how it could be improved…please leave notes in the comments section.

Who had the most fun last night?  It could have been the Hawks front office staff who bussed up to the ShoWare Center and took over two suites at center ice and enjoyed the game.  These folks worked hard all summer to get ready for the 2009-10 season…great to see them having fun in an opposing teams barn.

That’s it for now…enjoy your Sunday!

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10 Comments

  1. Is there a podcast available or some other way to listen to last nights broadcast?

  2. Podcasting isn’t currently available, but something we are working on setting up…

  3. I CAN’T WAIT FOR OPENING NIGHT AT THE MC. I DO HOPE THAT THE PUBLIC ADDRESS ANNOUNCER CUTS BACK ON THE FANCY ANTICS (DRAWN OUT LAST NAMES) AND JUST DOES IT WITH THE SAME TECHNIQUE AS DAN FOLWICK DID. NO SCREAMING PLEASE. I APPRECIATE A PERSON TRYING TO HAVE HIS OWN WAY OF ANNOUNCING, BUT THE 1 PRE-SEASON GAME-VS-SEATTLE, THE PA WAS ANNOYING. I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS TEAM. I DON’T THINK WORST TO FIRST IS OUT OF THE QUESTION, BUT IT IS EARLY! SEE YA SATURDAY NIGHT!!!!!

  4. Andy,

    I listened to the internet feed of the game, and the commercials are in full definition, and are a much higher volume than the game feed – your voice sounds like is on an AM radio, but the commercials are DVD quality – and loud.

    Not sure if there is any adjustments that can be made, but since you asked….

  5. Chad – I think they are missing some peice of gear at 970’s studios, so the game broadcast basically reaches the studio via a phone line. That would explain the discrepancy in tone and volume. They are working on getting the proper gear.

    Andy – You and Todd sounded great last night. You both seemed very comfortable. Great job!

  6. Sounded pretty good last night on radio from my job….. Good Job…..

  7. Andy…..I think it would be really helpful, for better building a mind image of the on ice play, if you would often identify what side of the ice the action was on. Right wing, left wing, etc……

  8. I enjoyed your call of the game as always. Todd is fitting right in. You both sound very good. Bring on the Ams!!!

    GO HAWKS!! :-)

  9. hey Andy

    I’m terribly sorry for the way I pronounced Nino’s name last night – no disrespect. you guys look good this year, I hope that things go well in Portland and that the Seattle/Portland rivalry remains strong and healthy.

    tom79/Tbirds

  10. Andy, I loved listening to you and Todd, I thought you did a great job together. Kid has a future for sure! Since I watched the blog and the game was about 25 seconds ahead of it, it would be most helpful if every once in a while you called the SOG as well as time and possession.


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  • Questions?

    Got a question for the broadcast crew? You can email questions to hawksradio@gmail.com and if you include your name and city, we just may answer them on the air!