Gritty Win…

It certainly won’t go down as a pretty win, but it sure was a nice way to end a long week of hockey for the Portland Winterhawks.

Ian Curtis (photo courtesy of Bryan Heim) stopped 51 shots to lead the Hawks to a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants at the Memorial Coliseum to halt a 13 game losing streak against the Giants that stretched out a little over three years.

The last Hawk win was the 1-0 shutout in overtime on Teddy Bear Toss night back on November 25, 2006.   Only Chris Francis remains on the roster from that game.

The Hawks weathered the early storm after the Giants had a 14-0 shot advantage 13 minutes into the game, but the Hawks found their legs after that and it was a fairly even game for the final 45 minutes.  Curtis had to be good on an early power play chance in the first and that seemed to put him in the groove for the remainder of the game.

The two disallowed goals were, I’m sure, disputed by the Giants but from my view, they were the right calls.  Curtis was impeded in the crease on the first chance by Tomas Vincour and the net was definitely off the moorings on the second one.  You could see Curtis looking behind him before the entry shot was deflected home by Vincour as Ian knew the net was off the peg.

Riley Boychuk and Spencer Bennett set up the first two goals for the Hawks, one by Oliver Gabriel and the second by Taylor Jordan as the Hawks top two offensive lines were held off the scoresheet (with the exception of the empty netter by Luke Walker) for the first time in a long time.

Both of the Hawks first two goals were created by driving hard to the net and it was especially nice to see Jordan get rewarded as he does a lot of little things during games that don’t show up in the box score most nights.

As I said on the post-game show, I found a good omen before the game when I saw that the Hawks had never lost on home ice when playing on January 24th in their history…but the superstitious side of me wouldn’t let me pull that factoid out until after the game was over…the broadcaster jinx avoided.

Well…sort of…after the the second goal was waived off, I made the mistake of opening my records file to see what the Hawks record for saves in a regular season shutout was before the game was over.  While I didn’t utter the dreaded “shutout” on the air, looking it up before the game was over was just as bad.   (Broadcasters are just as superstitious sometimes as the players.)

So, Jason LaBarbera, your 41 save shutout in Red Deer on February 26, 1999, still holds its spot in the books.  Sorry Curtsy…

The Hawks are now off until Friday night in Everett for the start of another three games in three nights…Luca Sbisa may make his Hawks debut then…should be an interesting week.

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  1. Niederreiter seems to be on a little bit of a cold streak. Hopefully that line will start clicking again soon. Come on Hawks… lets put an end to Everetts winning streak finally! Hope to see Doyle and Sbisa in the line up this weekend. Go Hawks you can do it!

  2. that line had a busy week…four games in five nights with a short little cross country trip to Windsor…skills testing, NHL interviews, skills challenge…I think they deserve a few days rest and they will be back to normal…

  3. Oh… Andy – please –

    Don’t tell me you believe in “announcer jinxes” –

  4. OK Fax…I won’t tell you…


  5. Hi Andy!
    Just a small correction – Tayler played in Portland as a 16 year old, so he would have been on the roster on Nov 26/06. I remember watching that game on the internet!

    Take care

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