“Some would said they never fear a thing
Well I do
And I’m afraid enough for both of us –
For me and you
Time, if nothing else, will do it’s worst
So do me that favor
And tell me the good news first”
– Neil Peart — “Good News First” – Snakes and Arrows
Well, I certainly was a bit fearful as the bus rolled out of the snow covered lot at the Toyota Center last night, knowing that I-84 was closed and that we were heading into a bit of an unknown on the road conditions on Highway 14 on the Washington side of the border between Hood River and Portland.
Well…I’ll give you the good news first…the road conditions were much better than expected (the Washington road crews must have a much better method of ice removal than their Oregon counterparts) as we rolled down I-84 into Hood River, bypassing the line of trucks lined up on the side of the highway and off at Exit 64 and over the toll bridge into Washington. (For the record, they were not allowing trucks over 80,000 lbs gross vehicle weight on SR 14…the bus fully loaded is 48,000 lbs gross vehicle weight…just in case you wanted to know.)
From there, the roads were pretty much just wet (although the side roads and medians were ice covered) and it took just a little over an hour and 15 minutes to close the final stretch into Vancouver and the bus rolled into the Rose Quarter around 2:15 this morning.
All things considered, that was much earlier than I (or anyone else on the bus) expected. Nice job to our driver Kevin and to the Washington road crews.
Now…for the bad news…
It wasn’t a great effort by the Hawks last night in Tri City, giving up way too many power play chances to the Americans and also way too many glorious scoring chances in the 5-2 loss.
If not for some tremendous saves by Mac Carruth (including an absolute robbery of Johnny Lazo with the blocker) in the first period, it would have been lights out early. Being down 2-1 after one period flattered the Hawks as the Americans dominated most aspects of the opening 20 minutes.
After that, it was a much closer battle, but every time the Hawks got close, the Americans got a key goal to regain their two-goal advantage and they finished it off with a third period goal to get the final 5-2 margin.
Maybe the Hawks need to come up with a new strategy against Tri City…one that has more than one guy getting a goal…
In the four games against Tri City…in each game only one Winterhawks has dented the twine in each contest:
September 25 — Americans 4 – Luke Walker 3
October 9 – Americans 3 – Brad Ross 1
November 25 – Americans 6 – Stefan Schneider 2
December 12 – Americans 5 – Ty Rattie 2
The Hawks will try and rebound in a few hours when they host the Everett Silvertips at 5:00 in the Rose Garden…the ‘Tips broke a 5 game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Seattle last night on home ice.
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