Five Out of Sixty Equals One Goal Loss…

For five minutes, the Portland Winterhawks played the game they wanted to, aggressive puck pressure and dominant territorial play…unfortunately they fell too far behind in the first 55 minutes to get the victory, falling to Kamloops 5-4 at the Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops.

The three goals in the final five minutes for Portland made the score appear closer than the game actually was as Kamloops were by far the more aggressive of the two teams on the night despite Portland winning the shot differential by a margin of 34-26 on the night.

It might have been a different outcome if Portland had scored on the second period penalty shot by Brad Ross or on the five-on-three that followed that, but they didn’t and Kamloops earned the victory.  Kurtis Mucha was solid, but he didn’t need to be overly spectacular, and made quality stops on Ross’ penalty shot and a few other chances late to get what I’m sure was a big victory for him against his former mates.

First star over Dalibor Bortnak for Mucha was a stretch in my opinion but I don’t get a vote in Kamloops and I’m sure it was selected prior to the three goal outburst by the Hawks.

Taylor Peters looked good in his first game back with the Hawks winning faceoffs and going pretty good work on the penalty kill.  He will be asked to do those things with the absence of Jacob Berglund.

Also, Oliver Gabriel continued his strong play since returning from his spleen injury, scoring his second goal of the season on a determined up ice rush.   Gabes board play has been outstanding and he is beginning to create chances more and more with board battle wins.

Next up, the injury riddled Kelowna Rockets tomorrow night…pregame show at 6:40 on Freedom 970.

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  1. Andy. I have a comment about Curtis and his ability to react to the puck, especially outside shots. I have played a lot of racketball and I know how important it is to react to the ball coming from the front wall. Perhaps he may have a slight vision problem that the team is unaware of.
    Ken Nelson

  2. I personally didn’t see much of an issue with Curtis’ performance last night. Moderately below average goal tending from an average goaltender. Part of the peaks and valleys. Only one of the goals against was truly soft. The others were the result of very poor defensive positioning and a very Berglund-sick penalty kill. It was a “team effort” as far as loses go. Portland attempted to play the role of a dominant team (minus the dominance) last night and found out (again) they still have a ways to go before they’re the toast of the western conference.

  3. Andy;

    Your interview on the CSN/Shaw coverage was great. You really represent the team well!!!! Shame that I couldnt listen to the game on 970, but in Salmon Creek the signal has more snap crackle and pop than a bowl of Kellogg’s finest…

    Now that we are headed back to the MC for a few more games, I’ll actually see you more often.

    Cheers, Mike, the Mayor of Widmer

  4. Andy…great to finally meet you and always fun to talk a little WHL history. I’ve posted a link to your blog on mine, way overdue!!!

    Also, a note to Winterhawks’ fans…the players on your team have been very professional, mature and well-spoken in my dealings with them on the media side this season. That’s a tribute to the kids for certain, but also speaks to the hockey operations personnel, the people working with these young men on the developmental side of things, on and off the ice. You’re all in for some good hockey in the coming years!

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