Turnabout Fair Play…

As frustrated as the Portland Winterhawks made the Spokane Chiefs in the 2-0 win for Portland in Spokane on Saturday, the Chiefs equalled the frustration last night with a 3-0 win at the MC to end the Hawks five game winning streak.

Four straight power plays in the first period gave Spokane the momentum, scoring once, eve though the Hawks killed off a full two minute two-man advantage for the Chiefs.

The real turning point came in the second period when it looked like the Hawks had evened the score on a rebound goal by Luke Walker of a Ty Rattie entry shot, but referee Colby Smith ruled that Walker was in the crease and waved off the goal.   Spokane went the other way off the next faceoff, forced a turnover and Mitch Wahl set up Kyle Beach for their insurance goal just 14 seconds after the Hawks had the apparent tying goal waived off.

I watched the video this morning and from the angle, it sure didn’t appear that Walker impeded James Reid in the blue paint as it looked like Walker was to the side of Reid and reached in front of him to tip the puck home.   Smith was behind the goal line and from the video angle, it looked like he had to look through the net as well as Jared Cowen and Reid to see where Walker was positioned.

There is no guarantee that if the goal had stood that the outcome would have been different, but you never know.

I thought both goaltenders played well, but Reid certainly responded after a couple poor outings to backstop the Chiefs and earn the shutout on the night.

Next up, the Hawks take on the Vancouver Giants on Wednesday, the first game of the season in the Rose Garden.  When you look at the Giants roster, gone are the big names from years past – Sexsmith, Blum, Regner, Shira, Kane, Wright and others – but they continue to produce, leading the B.C. Division with a record of 11-4-1-2, good for 25 points in 18 games.

Craig Cunningham leads the offense with 26 points in 18 games, but they are a balanced team up front, scoring by committee most nights.

Their defense is young, but they are getting great production from 16 year old David Musil and overage Ryan Funk.  Add in Kevin Connauton and they have a formidable group on the blue line.

Jamie Tucker is the #1 guy in the nets, posting 2.62 and .900 save percentage in 15 games.   His back-up Brendan Jensen has better numbers at 1.83 and .915 in just four appearances.

PouliotDerrick Pouliot (pictured left), the Hawks 1st overall selection in this past Bantam Draft, as well as three other Hawks prospects took part in the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup this past weekend in Blackfalds, AB.

Pouliot’s Team Saskatchewan finished third in the four team tournament, knocking off Team BC for the bronze medal.

The Hawk prospect that stole the show was Brendan Leipsic, the diminutive forward from Manitoba, was leading all scorers after three days and while I haven’t seen the official numbers following the event, it appears that he finished with 3-4-7 in four games as his team took home the Silver after falling to the host Alberta team in the Championship game.

Leipsic was named to the tournament all-star team for his efforts.

Taylor Leier also played for Saskatchewan and had 2-1-3 (unofficial) in 4 games while Pouliot had 1-2-3 (unofficial) in 4 games.

Reece Wilcox played for team BC and (unofficially) didn’t hit the scoresheet in the tournament.

Congrats to Taylor Peters for a successful start to his stint in the BCHL after being assigned to the Penticton Vees last week.   Peters posted 1-3-4 in two games, with his goal coming short-handed.

Also, congrats to former Hawk Ryan Kerr, who is showing some goal-scoring ability after potting four goals in his last three games, including an OT winner.  Kerr has 5-5-10 playing with the Spruce Grove Saints in the AJHL.

That’s it for now…


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  1. Andy,

    I understand that you cannot really comment on the officiating of last nights game so I will quote what I said over on the FB page. I could have pulled 4 homeless guys out of Pioneer Courthouse Square and they would have called that game better than the crew we had last night. That being said I don’t think we played the type of hockey that the Hawks have been playing all year last night.. We lacked focus and I lost count how many times we gave up a soft pass infront of Mucha that could have resulted in a much more lopsided score. All in all not our best showing but there is still a lot of season left for us.

  2. I agree Mike, the officiating left something to be desired, but that’s nothing new. The team’s lack of concentration and effort at center ice and in our own end was far more disturbing. That was certainly not a first place team on the ice last night.

  3. Thanks for the insight on Peters and Kerr. I liked Peters the first time he played for Portland. He had good hockey skills and he looked like he had leadership skillst to boot. I don’t know what happened between then and now, but that kid has potential. I expect that he will be wearing a C or A before his career in the WHL i s over and he will be a productive force for Portland. I have seen a number of boys who were great at 15 or 16 stumble at 17 and come back in full force. I have a hunch that Peters is one of those. Let’s go Peters, I am pulling for you. Character will bring him back. I think he has got it.

  4. Andy, I just wanted to thank you for your blog posts. Before I get too worked up about something, I try to wait and see what your take on it was. You get to see this team each time they play and I appreciate your insight. I love hearing about the team and how they’re doing on the road games especially. We have an AWESOME team! The officiating is hard to swallow sometimes, but despite some off-nights I love the attitude I’m seeing from the team overall. Lets keep it up Hawks and we’ll be waiving at Spokane from the playoffs!

  5. I’m pretty sure Spokane will be in the playoffs also……Seattle is in a rebuilding year and Prince George is terrible…..That makes the other 8 teams already locked for playoff hockey.

  6. C’mon the officiating was bad yes.. but you didn’t comment on the officiating the night before that was terrible seemingly with tons of calls going against the chiefs… A phantom whistle taking away a breakaway from kuhn..Mucha being able to hold the puck forever then make a play after making 2 fakes and no whistle… Officiating is usually just bad period in the league and you have to say something both ways.. not just when it hurts your team.

    Tanya both portland and spokane will be in the playoffs. Lets not get too cocky because your team is actually going to win over 20 games this year.

  7. Jeff…
    the whistle on the Kuhn breakaway was for an offside call as Kuhn was slightly ahead of the puck at the blue line…hardly phantom.

    And, really, there wasn’t one call in the game on Friday night that had the momentum shift that the waived off goal did on Saturday night. I wasn’t commenting on the penalty calls as those are subjective to one’s rooting interests and can be seen differently by every one in the stands.


  8. That’s fine but there were several blatant interference calls that were missed etc. the arena never really breaks out in a “wieler sucks” cheer.. i had never heard that until saturday night against any referee. I doubt that made a difference in the game anyway as mucha just stood on his head all night it was just a really frustrating loss for the chiefs having outplayed portland for likely the full 60 minutes but mucha stealing one. Like the old days of the hawks.

  9. Hey Andy,

    RE the game Saturday night. How about that goal that the Chiefs Bardaro scored that the ref blew off. Said the puck was covered up when it clearly wasn’t. I’d say that was quite the momentum shift eh? Woulda tied the score. It’s funny how these things even out. All four oficials were BRUTAL Saturday, sounds like more of the same Sunday.

    I admire your ability to keep your cool for the most part. I can’t listen to the hack here in Spoke. Guy’s a tool.

    It’s funny how these things even out.

  10. The Bardaro wash out was a bit different as it was after the whistle had blown…but I get the correlation from a Spokane point of view. The other part was that the Hawks didn’t score 14 seconds after that, which was really my point about the Walker wave off/Beach goal being a turning point in the game.

    Nice to know I got some readers in Spokane…


  11. Yes you do i check the blog daily from here in spokane! Love the reading and you guys are very professional as far as broadcasting goes when i hear ya on the webcasts. I actually like Mike Boyle as well sure he’s a homer but he keeps it fun on the radio

  12. Andy, this was the first time I have commented on your blog and did not realize my comments were going to be dissected by random readers, so just know I appreciate your blog… but will do so silently from now on.

    Jeff, I could care less what you think. Cocky or positive thinking… I guess it’s just subective. I love the Hawks and only wish them the best.

  13. Tanya you posted something on a public blog forum on the internet and now you have hurt feelings or are surprised people disagreed with and responded to you? Not to mention the last little part of your post was a stab at the chiefs… what did you expect? welcome to the internet i guess

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