Good Start to the Swing…

The Portland Winterhawks got their Central Swing off to a good start last night, skating away with a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rexall Place.

We’re still in Edmonton and the team will head south to Red Deer to take on the Rebels later on this afternoon.

The Oil Kings were missing a lot of bodies last night due to injury but that shouldn’t take away from what the Hawks did, especially after the first period.  The Hawks won the territorial battle and kept the Oil Kings bottled up in the defensive zone for some very long stretches.

I will say that as I was leaving the press box that I got a lot of compliments about the team from the off-ice officials and these are guys that see a lot of hockey.

One thing about being the only game going last night in the WHL is that the scouts were out en masse.  The media/scout lounge at Rexall Place was at near standing room only (and its a big room) with scouts getting a look at the action.  Or it could have been the nice food spread that was present…either way, it was nice to see a lot of scouts watching the young Hawks and I have a feeling that it will remain that way on this trip and throughout the season.

The Hawks will face Red Deer tonight and the Rebels will be missing a key component in Landon Ferraro who has been nursing a knee injury.  They do have some top end forwards in Willie Coetzee, Nathan Green and 16 year old phenom Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.   It should make for an entertaining battle.

I will have to get used to calling my own name, as goaltender Darcy Kuemper (pronounced Kemper) will most likely get the start in net for the Rebels.  I hope to call his/my name a lot tonight as that means the Hawks are getting lots of shots.

Oh…and one thing that I forgot to mention…it was great to see former Hawk Scott Gabriel last night at the game.  It was weird to see Scott and not Ollie as the younger Gabes is still in the states dealing with his spleen injury.

I also know that Brian Woolger was there last night, but I wasn’t able to catch up with him as I didn’t leave the press box as it is a trek to get back up there.

A few photos from last night:

The Hawks warming up...view from my press box.

The Hawks warming up...view from my press box.

Post-game group hug...

Post-game group hug...

The Happy Scoreboard...

The Happy Scoreboard...

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  1. Nice! Thanks very much, Andy! Great job, team! Go Hawks Go!

  2. Thanks for sharing the photos Andy! Good win guys, good luck in Red Deer!

  3. The Hawks were very impressive against Edmonton, I really liked the line of ’92s as they were very effective for most of the night.

    Exciting team this year for sure.

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