The road warrior Portland Winterhawks continued their strong play away from the Rose City last night in Kelowna with a 4-2 win over the Rockets at Prospera Place.
The win snapped a seven game losing streak in Kelowna, dating back to September 2005, and also extended their road winning streak to five, with the Hawks posting 10-4-0-0 away from home.
The five game road winning streak matches the longest Hawk streak in the past 12 seasons. The Hawks have twice had five game streaks prior to this one (from 1/22/05 to 2/25/05 which was part of a 10 game road unbeaten streak and from 2/17/01 to 3/4/01 which was part of a seven game unbeaten streak).
The last time the Hawks won more than five straight on the road? You have to go back to the Memorial Cup season of 1997-98 when the Hawks won eight straight from 1/9/98 through 2/10/98.
The Hawks took control of the game from the opening face-off and the first 20 minutes might have been the best 20 minutes the Hawks have had all season, taking everything away from Kelowna and neutralizing the chances against. The goals by Nino Niederreiter and Jacob Berglund were both great individual efforts and the Hawks then took a 3-0 lead early in the third on tremendous up-ice rush with a three-way passing play with Brad Ross finishing on a top cheese wrister.
After that, the Hawks did give up two goals to the Rockets but Ian Curtis, making his first start since October 27, stood tall (literally and figuratively) to post the win, improving to 7-2-0-0 on the season.
This may have been the most complete 60 minute the Hawks have played since the Central Swing and it is interesting to read the comments from Kelowna that the Rockets didn’t show up to play or show much effort.
To me, the Hawks had more to do with shutting the Rockets down than it appeared that the Rockets didn’t bring their game.
But that’s just me…
I have mentioned that Kelowna is probably my least favorite place to call a game because of the camera’s blocking my view of the one end of the ice…here is the video evidence…am I making too much of it?
After the game, we rolled out of Kelowna with every intention of rolling into Chilliwack some 3 or 4 hours later. Well, getting over the pass on the 97C Highway was hairy to say the least with tons of snow and high winds which blew the snow around mak
ing visibility very poor.
It was decided that instead of trying to cross over the Coquihalla Pass with similar conditions, the team found refuge at the Best Western in Merritt, BC, for the night and we made the crossing this morning when it was at least daylight and the winds weren’t so bad. Still lots of snow, but we made the pass without incident.
Here are a few photos from this morning’s trip:
All things considered, I am very glad that we play in the U.S. Division and that snowy trips like these are more often than not the exception rather than the norm and it is nice to be back in the relative warm Fraser Valley and steady rain.
More from Chilliwack tomorrow…
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