Hawks 2 – Thunderbirds 1 (SO)

A very entertaining game last night at the Rose Garden as the Portland Winterhawks got their first victory of the season over the Seattle Thunderbirds.  It wasn’t easy as both teams played hard and battled for every puck.

The goaltending at both ends was superb as Mac Carruth and Calvin Pickard combined to stopped 67 of 69 shots in regulation time before Portland found a way to solve Pickard twice in the shootout to get the victory.

The two shootout goals were dandy’s as Ty Rattie went backhand to the blocker side top shelf in the opening round and then 16 year old Brendan Leipsic sealed the victory with a roofed backhand to the glove side.  Mike Johnston showed some confidence by choosing Leipsic to shoot the third chance for Portland and the kid didn’t looked nervous at all as he drove wide in on Pickard.  It was a similar move that Leipsic used against Brandon Anderson and Lethbridge on a penalty shot earlier in the season.

Carruth continues to play incredibly well early in the season, giving up just two goals in the last three games.  The two have been the result of a flukey bounce off of Geordie Wudrick’s skate in Kelowna and a shot by Colin Jacobs last night that deflected in off of Taylor Peters on an attempted blocked shot while shorthanded.

On the offensive side of things, Rattie and Sven Bärtschi both extended their point streaks to seven games.  Rattie’s power play goal in the second period was set up by a tremendous cross-ice pass from Joe Morrow who now has five assists in his five games played for Portland.

Some statistical notes about the win:

– the win was # 1200 all time for Portland in team history.

– of the 1200 wins, 228 (19%) have come against Seattle.

– with the win, the Hawks are now 7-0-0-0 all-time in home games played on October 22nd.

The Hawks now have a full week to practice and get ready for the back-to-back home games against the Kelowna Rockets next weekend…



  1. Andy, quick question for you regarding the Nino situation…a poster over at The Hockey News website said that the Islanders CAN assign Nino to their AHL affiliate instead of returning him to Portland because the rule about returning players to junior only applies to North American-born players, not European players. Everything else I have read states that the only options for Nino are either the Isles or the Hawks. Can you clear this up? Thanks!

  2. As far as I know, Nino cannot be sent to the AHL because he was drafted out of the WHL. It does not matter if he is a NA skater or not, the fact that he came from the CHL means that unless he is 20, he would have to be returned to Portland.

  3. Rich,
    Matt is right…since Nino was drafted from the WHL, he is not eligible to play in the AHL as an 18 year old. He has to play either in Portland or in New York.


  4. Andy,

    Can you update us on Kopitar, Watt, Garragh and Robidoux? I noticed they were not on our current roster.

    Is Stephane Robidoux related to Florent Robidoux? And, who is Garragh (I haven’t heard his name before)?


  5. Kenna,
    Gasper Kopitar is now with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL.
    David Watt is now with the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL.
    Liam Darragh (not Garragh) is now with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL.
    Stephane Robidoux (no relation to Florent according to Stephane) is now with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the MJHL.

    Darragh started the year with Portland as an overage, but was released once Ian Curtis was healthy and ready to go.

    Hope that helps…


  6. Andy,

    Do you know why the Winterhawks don’t have video highlights on this game? It seems like a lot of other teams submit highlight packages to the WHL, but not the Hawks. Is there a technical problem?

  7. Jared….
    ah…but they do…on their site at:


    We have done some work to get the radio audio linked to the higher quality video from the coach’s video system. This was the first game that it was working, so you should see more of it in the coming games.


  8. Great story on Nino:




  9. Are Kopitar, Watt and Robidoux all Portland list players or did they just get released?

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