Greetings from Spokane, as I’m here a day early to make some customer visits and I am now sitting in a local Starbucks enjoying a frothy drink before my next meeting a bit later in the afternoon. The team is on their way this afternoon to the Lilac City to prepare for tomorrow nights rematch against the Spokane Chiefs.
Chad in the comments asked about why the team didn’t just stay in Spokane between Saturday and Wednesday and Dan answered it pretty well. There is a lot of cost to keep 30 people (23 players, three coaches, 1 athletic trainer, 1 equipment guy, 1 bus driver and 1 broadcaster) housed and fed for five days on the road. And, school is important too and the factor of spending three night in your own bed plays into it as well.
It is just a quirky schedule with two games in Spokane spread out between four days with neither team playing in the interim. But this has been a year with quirky scheduling.
We found out today that the Hawks will not lose any roster players to the USA World Junior Championship camp as both Mac Carruth and Taylor Aronson were thought to be possible candidates for the camp. While it would have been great to see two more players get the recognition of their home nation, knowing both Mac and Arny will be around is good, too. The Hawks will be missing enough out of the lineup during mid-December and early January.
Only two WHL players got the invite for Team USA – Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers and Mitchell Callahan of the Kelowna Rockets. Best of luck to both of them as the US roster looks stacked and poised for a repeat of their Gold Medal performance in Saskatoon last year.
Looking forward to tomorrow night, I know the team wasn’t happy with their performance against the Chiefs on Saturday. It wasn’t close to the performance the night before in the home ice win over the Tri-City Americans and I sensed that the team was eager to get back at ‘er tomorrow night. The Chiefs are a hard working club and while Portland has had success in shutting down Tyler Johnson and Levko Koper for the most part, role players like Blake Gal and Steven Kuhn have had good success against Portland.
The Hawks 10 game winning streak in Spokane ended on Wednesday with the Chiefs picking up their first home victory against the Hawks since February 27, 2009. The road team will look to start a new streak tomorrow night. You can tune into the pre-game show on Freedom 970 KXFD at 6:40 with puck drop around 7:05 with yours truly and Todd Vrooman bringing you the action.