Hawks World Jr. Team Canada History

With Ryan Johansen and Brad Ross both having the opportunity to be a part of Team Canada for the upcoming World Jr. Tournament in Buffalo, here is a list of all former Hawks who have played in the event for Team Canada:

2005 – Braydon Coburn

2004 – Braydon Coburn

1999 – Andrew Ference and Brenden Morrow

1997 – Brad Isbister

1987 – Glen Wesley

1984 – Randy Heath

1982 – Gary Nylund

1979 – Keith Brown

1978 – Wayne Babych



Catching Up…

I took a long weekend off from blogging as there were a lot of games and bus miles the last four or five days and typing on the bus isn’t a lot of fun…some random thoughts:

— First congrats to four Hawks who have been selected to participate in the camps for their respective countries in the upcoming World U20 Championships after Christmas.  Ryan Johansen and Brad Ross have been invited to Canada’s camp that will run from December 12-15 in Toronto.  As well, Nino Niederreiter and Sven Bartschi have been invited to the Switzerland camp that will start on December 19 in Oshawa, Ontario.

The tournament will be held in Buffalo and Niagara, NY, starting on December 26th.

— Team Canada selected 39 players to try out for the team, including 17 from the WHL.  The Winterhawks were the only WHL team to have two players selected, as 15 other teams had one player selected.  The teams that did not have anyone selected were Brandon, Calgary, Kamloops, Lethbridge, Prince Albert and Tri City.

— With the busy schedule over the holiday weekend, the Hawks finished with a 1-1-0-2 record in the four games, losing the last three with the last two going to shootouts.  The game last night against Medicine Hat was their best performance of the four games and that is a positive as it comes at the end of four games in five nights with some serious bus miles with road trips to Chilliwack and then to Tri City thrown in.

— On Saturday night it was Keith Hamilton that propelled Portland into the shootout with a tremendous 40 save effort and last night it was Tyler Bunz doing the same for Medicine Hat.  Hamilton made three highlight reel saves in the second period against the Americans that kept the game close for Portland and Bunz’s antics in the overtime session last night gave the Tigers a chance to win in the shootout.

— For Drew Owsley (who had a solid game) to be named the first star on Saturday night for Tri City over Keith Hamilton (who was outstanding) was an injustice.  Also…can someone get the PA guy in Kennewick a pronunciation guide?   A hint…it is Poo-LEE-ott, not Poo-yo.  Of course this is the same guy that butchered Ty Rattie’s name last year…

— The Hawks shooters are now 2 for 12 in the shootout this season and are almost exclusively relying on the premier deke to try and score.  The winning goal last night was just a little deke and wrist shot by Hunter Shinkaruk for the Tigers.  It seems to me that the shot has been more successful over the years.

— Congrats to Rattie, Spencer Bennett and Taylor Aronson who all played in their 100th career WHL game last night while Taylor Jordan played in his 200th on the same night.

— Next up, the Kootenay Ice on Wednesday at the MC and then the Americans make their first visit to the Rose City on Friday at the Garden…

Winterhawks 4 – Silvertips 2

A new jersey…but another win for your Portland Winterhawks tonight as they knocked off the Everett Silvertips 4-2 at the Rose Garden.

Oliver Gabriel (pictured) and the rest of the Hawks donned the new “Hawk Eyes” third jersey for the contest and it was Gabriel who was seeing red (as in red light) as he scored two tremendous goals and set up the empty netter in the win.

Gabriel’s second goal, scored shorthanded, was one of the better individual efforts I’ve seen all season as he corralled an outlet pass from Nino Niederreiter from out of the air in the neutral zone and then bowled his way past Alex Theriau before roofing a wrister past Kent Simpson.

Brendan Leipsic got the game winner off a tremendous feed from Sven Bartschi with 1:00 minute remaining in the second period to make it 3-1 Portland after two periods.   Tyler Maxwell would make it close early in the third period, but Gabriel would unselfishly set up Ryan Johansen for the empty netter to seal the win in the final minute.

Mac Carruth had a relatively light night, facing only 24 shots to get his 12th victory of the season.  The Hawks are now 21-4-0-1 heading into Friday’s game in Chilliwack.

As far as the jersey’s go…I can read the names and numbers and really that is all that matters to me!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving all!

Suspensions Levied…

The WHL handed down the suspensions and fines from the incidents on Saturday night at the end of the second period against the Kamloops Blazers.

For Portland:

Joe Morrow – 3 Games

Seth Swenson – 4 Games

Fines – $3,000

For Kamloops:

Brendan Ranford – 1 Game

Chase Schaber – 3 Games

J.C. Lipon – $ Games

Fines – $3,000

Morrow and Swenson have served one game already, missing the 3-1 loss to the Spokane Chiefs on Sunday night.  Morrow will be eligible to return on Saturday night against the Tri City Americans, Swenson will be able to return on Sunday night against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

There were no suspensions handed out to Mac Carruth or Jeff Bosch, but part of the fines for each team was for the goalie fight.

Winterhawks 6 – Blazers 4

A bit of old time hockey at the Memorial Coliseum as the Portland Winterhawks knocked off the Kamloops Blazers 6-4 in a game that featured it’s share of chippiness and a near bench brawl at the end of the second period.

The brouhaha at the end of the second period was escalated when Jeff Bosch, the Kamloops netminder took exception to a Portland player shooting the helmet of Dylan Willick, who was just involved with a scrap with Brad Ross at the buzzer, toward the exit door where the Blazers leave the ice.  He then skated over to engage with the Hawks and that brought everyone into the corner where the Hawks were attempting to exit the ice to the locker room.

Why he was so upset at the helmet being shot toward the exit door is beyond me…but Bosch paid the price when he squared off with Mac Carruth and the Hawk goaltender laid the hammer down, cutting Bosch with a quick right.  Both goaltenders got leaving the crease minors, fighting majors and game misconducts.  The leaving the crease minor on Carruth is debatable in my book as he was leaving the ice to head to the locker room when he was challenged by Bosch.  It’s not like he skated the length of the ice to get involved…the involvement found him.  Again, just the way I saw it.

The other component in the scrum was Shayne Neigum who went after Ross during the fight with Willick but was held at bay and then he put a wicked two hand slash on Troy Rutkowski just before the Bosch episode in the corner.

Joe Morrow and Brendan Ranford went at it, but it wasn’t considered a fight by the officials on the ice.  Morrow chased after Ranford after the Kamloops forward slashed Morrow on the way to the scrum.   Before it was over, Seth Swenson and J.C. Lipon went in a spirited scrap in the middle of the ice.

In the end, the Hawks wound up with a two minute power play and the Blazers lost one more player when it was deemed that Chase Schaber was ruled to have had contact with one of the linesmen when he was leaving the ice.

I’m sure the league will review the footage and make the call on any possible fines or suspensions that could be handed down but we may not hear about those until Monday.

In game action…Nino Niederreiter continued his hot play as of late, scoring twice to give him five goals in his last four games and the Hawks power play went 3 for 7 on the night, and that proved to be the difference.   Ryan Johansen, Taylor Aronson, Ty Rattie and Spencer Bennett each had single markers.

Ranford got his league leading 21st of the season and chipped in two assists for the Blazers.

The Hawks get the Spokane Chiefs Sunday night at the Rose Garden…game time is 5:00.

How The Hawks Were Built…

I had someone ask me about how the current Winterhawks team was assembled…so here it is:

2 – Troy Rutkowski — Listed 6/1/2007

4 – Josh Hanson – 8th Round 2009 Bantam Draft

6 – Brett Ponich – 2nd Round 2006 Bantam Draft

7 – Joe Morrow – 2nd Round 2007 Bantam Draft

8 – Ty Rattie – 1st Round 2008 Bantam Draft

9 – Teal Burns – 8th Round 2007 Bantam Draft

11 – Oliver Gabriel – Listed 9/4/2007

16 – Spencer Bennett – Listed 1/27/2009

17 – Riley Boychuk – 1st Round 2006 Bantam Draft

18 – Brad Ross – 1st Round 2007 Bantam Draft

19 – Ryan Johansen – 7th Round 2007 Bantam Draft

22 – Nino Niederreiter – 1st Round 2009 Import Draft

23 – Seth Swenson – 10th Round 2008 Bantam Draft

25 – Taylor Peters – 4th Round 2007 Bantam Draft

26 – Tyler Wotherspoon – 2nd Round 2008 Bantam Draft

27 – Sven Bartschi – 1st Round 2010 Import Draft

28 – Brendan Leipsic – 6th Round 2009 Bantam Draft

30 – Keith Hamilton – 2nd Round 2007 Bantam Draft

31 – Mac Carruth – Listed 9/22/2009

37 – Taylor Aronson – Listed 2/22/2009

40 – Jason Trott – Listed 9/20/2010

51 – Derrick Pouliot – 1st Round 2009 Bantam Draft

55 – Tayler Jordan – 5th Round 2005 Bantam Draft


There you have it…

Eastern Swing Wrap…

As we started the trip, one of the first movies to hit the small screens on the bus was “Hot Tub Time Machine” and the song above was featured in the movie…it seems appropriate now that we are back home.

In the end, the Portland Winterhawks finished the trip at 5-1-0-0 and 10 points…both are the best in team history for the trip.  Along the way, I got to meet some great people in each city and to see some families of the players and to call games from some of the most historic buildings in the WHL, including the final game ever at the Crushed Can in Moose Jaw.

When we were in Brandon, there was a film crew on hand from Switzerland following Nino Niederreiter around during pre-game and post-game and doing interviews with him.  Evidently, Nino is up for some “Newcomer of the Year Award” in Switzerland and they were filming some stuff for the awards show.  Who knows, maybe I’ll wind up in the background on the show as they were filming around the bus area after the game.

The trip home was about 26 hours, including meal stops, driver changes and refuels.  I had many ask me how you spend 26 hours on a bus…well, all told, we slept, watched five movies, had a study session (can’t overlook the schoolwork), played cards and I burned through about 100 songs on the Ipod.   But the trip seemed easier at 5-1-0-0 then it would have at 1-5-0-0…perspective is everything.

Along the way, we had some icy and snowy roads as well as a construction zone in the middle of nowhere Montana that had the road down to the equivalent of a goat track…but I want to thank Kevin Snell, our primary driver from Getaway Charters, for his great driving on the trip.  He was with us all the way through the first leg of the trip home and he handled everything well.  Kev is our normal driver for every trip, so he is definitely part of the team.

The trip by numbers:

Miles traveled:  Approximately 3,371.

Record:  5-1-0-0

Goals For:  30 on 218 shots — 13.8%

Goals Against:  17 on 236 shots — 7.2%

Power Play:  6 for 19 – 31.6%

Penalty Kill:  27 of 35 – 77.1% (3 shorthanded goals scored)

Leading Scorer:  Ty Rattie – 3-6-9

For the Hawks, every player who played, with the the exception of Josh Hanson and Keith Hamilton, recorded a point on the trip and the balance was evident in the six games.    It was also great to see Tayler Jordan, Derrick Pouliot and Brendan Leipsic (the three players on the roster from Saskatchewan and Manitoba) all score goals on the swing.

Some final photos:

Warm ups in the Wheat City...

Third Period Face Off...

The Hawks bench during the media time-out...

The final team meeting of the trip...

Bozeman, MT...Breakfast Stop

The Rockies...aptly named...


And that’s it…Hawks back in action on home ice on Saturday night at the Coliseum…hope to see you all there!

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