Weekend Wrap…

First off, it was great to be back at the rink watching hockey, even if they were just exhibition games.   It was good to get reacquainted with hockey friends and rivals and thanks to the Everett organization for running the tournament and allowing all of us to get our hockey fix after a long summer.

For the Portland Winterhawks, it was an interesting weekend with three totally different games.  On Friday, the Hawks manhandled the Seattle Thunderbirds by a 4-1 margin.  On Saturday, they started slowly, following behind 5-1 in the second period before a frantic rally for a 6-5 overtime win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.   Finally, on Sunday, the Hawks jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period and then held on for 55 minutes before the Spokane Chiefs broke through and tied the game before winning it in the shootout 3-2 over Portland.

Records don’t matter in the preseason, but the Hawks went 2-0-0-1 to post the best record in the tournament of the six teams taking part.

Head Coach Mike Johnston split the roster out over the three games, playing all players that there were in 2 games (with the exception of Brad Ross, who would have played two games, but had to sit out Sunday due to a one game suspension for an incident in Saturday’s game) and the Hawks depth showed with 16 players hitting the scoring sheet on the 12 goals the Hawks scored during the tournament.

Leading the scoring parade for Portland was Oliver Gabriel.  The 19 year old posted back to back three point games, finishing with 3 goals and 3 assists.  Gabriel has looked very good since camp started and he should head to Columbus’ camp with a ton of confidence as he tries to impress the NHL brass.

Preseason is a chance to get a look at future players and Portland got a good look at their 1994 class with Josh Hanson, Adam Smith, Taylor Leier, Brendan Leipsic, Brayden Low and Derrick Pouliot all getting ice time and each had their moments during the weekend.   Add in 1995 born Nic Petan, who also played well, and the future is bright indeed for the Winterhawks.  At one point yesterday, in overtime, the Hawks had Petan and Leier (15 and 16 year old) against Tyler Johnson and Levko Koper (both 20 year olds) for Spokane and the young pair did very well against the more experienced Chiefs.

While it isn’t optimal to give up 47 shots, it was a chance for Keith Hamilton to show that he wants to return to the WHL after spending his 17 year old season in the BCHL.  His 45 save performance was the best goaltending performance of the weekend that I saw (missed the final two games yesterday) and had Todd Vrooman and I saying “wow” a few times in the press box with some highlight reel stops.

In the end, it was a good weekend of hockey and the Hawks will now prepare for what should be a very different tournament in Tri City.  Different, as Portland and all teams, will have players gone at NHL camps.  The Hawks will have 13 players gone next weekend, so it will be another chance for the younger players to step forward and prove that they want, and deserve, to make the final roster heading into the regular season.

Lastly, thanks to all that took part in our live blogging from Everett…it worked pretty well and it ran pretty smooth.  All told, we had about 200 readers while we were live for all sessions and that’s not bad.  I am planning on doing them again in Tri City, so stay tuned for that information.

Here are the unofficial stats from Everett for Portland:

2 – Troy Rutkowski — 2 GP, 0-0-0, 2 PIM

3 – Kyle Madsen — 2 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM

4 – Josh Hanson — 2 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM

6 – Brett Ponich — 2 GP, 0-0-0, 6 PIM

7 – Joe Morrow — 2 GP, 0-2-2, 2 PIM

8 – Ty Rattie — 2 GP, 1-0-1, 2 PIM

9 – Teal Burns — 2 GP, 1-2-3, 2 PIM

11 – Oliver Gabriel — 2 GP, 3-3-6, 0 PIM

14 – Luke Walker — 2 GP, 1-0-1, 4 PIM

15 – Adam Smith — 2 GP, 0-0-0, 2 PIM

16 – Spencer Bennett — 2 GP, 1-1-2, 2 PIM

17 – Riley Boychuk — 2 GP, 0-1-1, 4 PIM

18 – Brad Ross — 1 GP, 0-0-0, 17 PIM

20 – Taylor Leier — 2 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM

23 – Seth Swenson — 2 GP, 1-0-1, 2 PIM

24 – Gasper Kopitar — 3 GP, 1-1-2, 2 PIM

25 – Taylor Peters — 2 GP, 0-0-0, 2 PIM

26 – Tyler Wotherspoon — 2 GP, 1-1-2, 7 PIM

27 – Sven Bartschi — 2 GP, 0-1-1, 0 PIM

28 – Brendan Leipsic — 2 GP, 1-0-1, 2 PIM

33 – Nicolas Petan — 2 GP, 0-1-1, 0 PIM

36 – David Watt — 2 GP, 0-1-1, 0 PIM

39 – Brayden Low — 2 GP, 0-1-1, 0 PIM

44 – Liam Darragh — 2 GP, 1-1-2, 9 PIM

47 – Stephane Robidoux — 2 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM

51 – Derrick Pouliot — 2 GP, 0-2-2, 0 PIM

55 – Tayler Jordan — 2 GP, 0-0-0, 4 PIM


30 – Keith Hamilton — 1-0-0-1 record, 3.03 GAA, .917 save %

31 – Mac Carruth — 1-0-0-0 record, 1.21 GAA, .950 save %

Special Teams:

Power Play — 4 for 20, 20.0%

Penalty Kill — 18 of 22, 81.8% with 2 short handed goals for


For — 40-44-33-3-0   — 120 (40/game)

Against — 26-38-35-5-1 — 105 (35/game)


  1. Andy – Thank you very much for the report. I am looking forward to the live blogging from TC. I do not envy the Hawks coaching staff this coming weekend. Should prove interesting for sure.

  2. Andy,

    Mac also only played one game.
    Considering the look on his face when he was coming down the tunnel after being pulled I am curious if there is something behind the scenes as to why the Hawks only dressed Hamilton for the other two games, or if coach just wanted to use that playing-roster spot to check out more players?

  3. Tim,
    nothing behind the scenes…Mac was rested to make sure he was ready to go for Chicago’s camp later this week.


  4. Thanks Andy – good to know. Tim

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