Western Conference Final Preview…

Portland Winterhawks

vs.

Spokane Chiefs

WHL Western Conference Final

How They Got There:

Portland – won the U.S. Division with a record of 50-19-0-3 and 103 points, one point ahead of the Spokane Chiefs.  Portland swept the Everett Silvertips 4-0 in the opening round and then knocked off the Kelowna Rockets in six games going 4-1-1.  Portland is 3-1-1 on home ice in the post-season and 5-0-0 on the road.

Spokane – finished second in the U.S. Division with a record of 48-18-4-2 and 102 points, 10 points higher than the Tri-City Americans.  Spokane eliminated the Chilliwack Bruins in five games with a record of 4-0-1 and then took out the Tri-City Americans in six games with a record of 4-1-1.  Spokane is 4-1-1 on home ice in the post-season and 4-0-1 on the road.  Five of their 11 games in the playoffs have gone to overtime with the Chiefs going 3-2 in those games.

Regular Season Series Summary:

The teams squared off nine times with Spokane winning five of the nine games.  Portland went 4-5-0-0 while Spokane finished 5-3-0-1.  Spokane outscored Portland 39 (4.33 goals/game) to 34 (3.78 goals/game) and outshot the Winterhawks 382 (42.44/game) to 263 (29.22/game).   Portland went 1-3-0-0 (Spokane 3-0-0-1) on home ice and 3-2-0-0 in games played in Spokane. 

The main difference in the series came down to special teams:

Portland:

Power play at home:  0 for 18 – 0.00%

Power play on the road:  3 for 25 – 12.0%

Power play overall:  3 for 43 – 7.1%

Spokane:

Power play at home:  6 for 35 – 17.1%

Power play on the road:  4 for 27 – 14.8%

Power play overall:  10 for 62 – 16.1%

Each team scored two short-handed goals in the regular season series.

Goal breakdown of the series:

Portland — 29 even strength, 3 power play, 2 short-handed

Spokane — 26 even strength, 10 power play, 2 short-handed, 1 empty net

Regular Season Scoring:

Portland vs. Spokane:

19 – Johansen — 9 GP, 6-7-13, 8 PIM, +6

27 – Bartschi — 8 GP, 7-4-11, 10 PIM, -2

18 – Ross — 9 GP, 4-5-9, 20 PIM, +3

8 – Rattie — 9 GP, 1-7-8, 8 PIM, -2

17 – Boychuk — 9 GP, 4-4-8, 23 PIM, Even

22 – Niederreiter — 7 GP, 3-4-7, 8 PIM, +2

14 – Cunningham (w/POR) — 4 GP, 2-3-5, 2 PIM, +2

2 – Rutkowski — 9 GP, 1-4-5, 19 PIM, +5

37 – Aronson — 9 GP, 1-4-5, 12 PIM, +4

51 – Pouliot — 9 GP, 1-4-5, 8 PIM, +1

7 – Morrow — 6 GP, 2-1-3, 9 PIM, Even

11 – Gabriel — 6 GP, 1-2-3, 11 PIM, +1

44 – Wrenn — 3 GP, 0-2-2, 0 PIM, Even

26 – Wotherspoon — 8 GP, 0-2-2, 6 PIM, -2

28 – Leipsic — 9 GP, 0-2-2, 10 PIM, -3

25 – Peters — 9 GP, 1-0-1, 0 PIM, -3

4 – Hanson — 5 GP, 0-1-1, 2 PIM, -3

23 – Swenson — 6 GP, 0-1-1, 2 PIM, Even

15 – Eviston — 1 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM, -1

24 – Ius — 1 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM, -1

55 – Jordan — 6 GP, 0-0-0, 10 PIM, -2

6 – Ponich — 6 GP, 0-0-0, 14 PIM, +1

40 – Trott — 4 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM, -1

31 – Carruth — 7 GP, 3-3-0-0, 4.26 GAA, .903 save %

30 – Hamilton — 3 GP, 0-2-0-0, 5.77 GAA, .857 save %

Spokane vs. Portland:

9 – Johnson — 9 GP, 5-6-11, 2 PIM, +3

8 – Kichton — 6 GP, 5-4-9, 4 PIM, +2

10 – Gal — 9 GP, 4-4-8, 11 PIM, Even

26 – Uher — 8 GP, 1-7-8, 11 PIM, -1

2 – Cowen — 8 GP, 2-5-7, 23 PIM, +5

20 – Kuhn — 9 GP, 3-3-6, 6 PIM, -1

4 – Vanscourt — 8 GP, 1-5-6, 2 PIM, Even

25 – Koper — 9 GP, 4-1-5, 6 PIM, +1

21 – Bardaro — 8 GP, 3-2-5, 2 PIM, -3

19 – Valcourt — 6 GP, 2-3-5, 0 PIM, +1

3 – Vandane — 4 GP, 0-4-4, 0 PIM, -4

15 – Brassart — 9 GP, 2-1-3, 8 PIM, -5

17 – Holmberg — 7 GP, 2-1-3, 4 PIM, +1

28 – Miller — 7 GP, 2-1-3, 0 PIM, -1

32 – Marantz — 8 GP, 1-2-3, 4 PIM, -4

23 – Baldwin — 9 GP, 0-3-3, 17 PIM, -6

5 – Mort — 8 GP, 0-3-3, 11 PIM, -4

16 – Aviani — 8 GP, 0-2-2, 2 PIM, +1

6 – Hamblin — 2 GP, 0-2-2, 2 PIM, +2

22 – Kramer — 9 GP, 0-2-2, 19 PIM, +1

12 – Kalus — 1 GP, 1-0-1, 0 PIM, -1

18 – Gow — 6 GP, 0-1-1, 6 PIM, +4

35 – Reid — 7 GP, 5-1-0-0, 2.95 GAA, .903 save %

31 – Engel — 3 GP, 0-1-1-0, 4.75 GAA, .827 save %

Playoff History:

All-time:  53 games played between Portland and Spokane, Winterhawks with a 30-23 record, 16-11 in Portland and 14-12 in Spokane.

Series History:

1985-86 – 2nd Round (Best of Nine) — Hawks 5-4

1986-87 – 1st Round (Best of Nine) — Hawks 5-0

1991-92 – 1st Round — Chiefs 4-2

1995-96 – 1st Round — Chiefs 4-3

1997-98 – 3rd Round – Western Conference Final – Hawks 4-3

2001-02 – 3rd Round – Western Conference Final — Hawks 4-1

2002-03 – 1st Round – Spokane 4-3

2009-10 – 1st Round – Hawks 4-3

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7 Comments

  1. Andy,

    Any chance that we might see Ponich back during this series? I heard there was a chance he could come back if the hawks make a deep run in the play offs.

  2. Dan,
    I don’t believe there is a chance for Ponich to return this round.

    AK

  3. This should be a barn burner!! ready for a great series!

  4. Thanks Andy! And thats too bad, it would be nice to see Ponich healthy and get some minutes, especially with such a tough series on the horizon.

  5. Hey fans…

    My inside sources tell me that Ponich has a lower body injury , however DO NOT rule him out especially if the series goes deep….. Lets wait and see. In my opinion he will see the ice if the series goes 6 or 7 games

  6. Wow Brian…great inside source on the lower body injury…but I’ll let you in on a secret…he had knee surgery in January.

    AK

  7. Andy …..

    Its sarcasm ….. Its playoff hockey , everybody onthe injury list has a lower ar an upper body injury . I thought you kknew my sense of humor by now, but I guess you don’t yet. I will try harder !!


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