Carl Savage Memorial Service…

Here are the details:

It will be held on Saturday, May 21st, at 1:00 PM.

Brush Prairie Baptist Church

11814 NE 117th Ave

Vancouver, WA

Advertisements

Remembering Carl Savage…

I was poised to write a series recap today but that probably won’t happen as it seems incredibly less important after finding out about the passing of longtime friend and Portland Winterhawk supporter, Carl Savage.

I’ve known Carl since I was a teenager and we both sat in Section 52 at the Memorial Coliseum.  He always had a big smile and a strong handshake and he was a person that I was always happy to see at the games.   He supported his team in many ways – from the goal club and booster club to traveling to away games to watch the Hawks play.  He valued his Colton Sceviour game worn jersey and wore that in more than just a few away barns.

I know that he had a tough go the last few years, but was shocked when I got the news this morning.  It was fitting, I suppose, that I was at one of my daughter’s swim meets as Carl always was interested in how Aiden performed at the meets and supported her financially in her annual swim-a-thon fundraisers.

While it would have been great to be calling Game 6 of the WHL Final this afternoon, I am glad that I am not, as it would have been very tough emotionally to call the game knowing Carl wouldn’t be by his radio listening.  He now has the best seat in the house and I hope his team always wins…

Carl was not a man of wealth…but myself and my family are richer for having known him.

Godspeed, my friend…I’ll think of you each time I enter a hockey arena…

The Time is Now…

At some point I’m going to rehash this series and all its complexity in detail…but today I send out a wish to all of the Portland Winterhawks faithful.

We all know the ramifications of Game 5 on Friday night at the Rose Garden.  The Winterhawks have their backs to the wall and face elimination for the first time in the 2010-11 season.  I spent the bus ride home thinking about Game 2 and just how loud the Rose Garden was in the rally that fell just short.  It gave me chills as I stood in the press box, having to raise my voice to be heard over the roar of the crowd.

My wish for Game 5 is that we have that level of noise from the start…before the players hit the ice.

I remember before the 1983 Memorial Cup Championship game in the old MC that the fans were standing and cheering minutes before the players left the locker room.  You can bet the Hawks back then could hear the noise and feel the building shake.  Our boys deserve the same this year.

I know from being around this team all year – on the bus, at team meals, before home games – just how much they enjoy and get pumped up by the large crowds in their home barns.  You, the fans, can truly be the seventh man on the ice – and can make a difference.

Before the game…the game ops crew runs the playoff intro…it is an incredible piece of video…and from the time the video shows “Western Conference Champs” I want to see the crowd rise as one…clapping, cheering, whistling…being the force that we saw in Game 2.

For a little inspiration…here are the National Anthems from the United Center in Chicago prior to a Blackhawks/Canucks playoff game.  You can feel the anticipation and noise level rise as the U.S. Anthem begins…by the end, the building is in a frenzy and you can see it on the faces of the Blackhawks just what it means to them.  You can provide that to the Winterhawks…

The time is now…there is no holding back…I can’t wait for it to start…game time is 7:30 but let the noise start as soon as you enter the building…

Game 4 Pre-Game…

I’ll do a more in-depth blog post, most likely Friday AM, as the Internet connections here in Cranbrook are spotty at best.

But…it was a tough OT loss last night in Game 3…and Portland had enough chances to win, but give the Kootenay Ice credit, they earned the victory in a tight contest.

We know now that Brad Ross won’t play tonight as the WHL handed down a 2 game suspension even though Matt Fraser didn’t miss any additional games due to the apparent serious knee injury that he had to be helped from the ice for.  He showed no sign of injury in Game 3.  The additional game to Ross, who was only issued a two minute minor for tripping at the time of the hit, contradicts what Richard Doerksen explained to John Kirby on our broadcast in the Kelowna series.  Past history was obviously the determining factor in the decision.

On the other side…James Martin, who laid out Troy Rutkowski with a head shot in the third period will not receive a suspension.  While I haven’t heard for sure, I’m sure the decision to not suspend Riley Boychuk played a part in the no call and to me the hits were no where close to the same hit.

In the end…I’ve said it before…it is what it is…time to win Game 4.

No pre-game show tonight…but we go live on 95.5 The Game at 6:00 PDT…

Hawks Arrive in Cranbrook…

More on this in a bit...

The Portland Winterhawks arrived in Cranbrook, BC, this afternoon to prepare for Games 3 and 4 against the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The trip took longer than expected (as the picture above shows a reason why)…but the team team arrived safe and sound and got in a late afternoon practice at the Cranbrook Rec-Plex.

I’m not going to rehash Game 2 as that has been done ad nauseum all over the Interwebs, but it certainly was an interesting and entertaining game that feature a little bit of everything.  The Rose Garden was as loud as I’ve ever heard it and it was great to see 10,947 rabid fans going nuts (for a variety of reasons) throughout the game.

I’m sure that everyone outs there wants my thoughts on the suspensions handed down today to Brad Ross and Tayler Jordan.  Well…I’m doing what the team is doing…looking forward, not back…and preparing for Game 3 with the players that they will have available to them once they drop the puck.  Going on here and pissing and moaning is a waste of time and effort and really gets us know where, so why bother?  The league determined, rightly or wrongly, what punishment they were going to hand down and what I write won’t change that.   I’m sure that Richard Doerksen doesn’t take my opinions into his reasoning…

The facts are each team has one win and one loss…it is now a best of five series and Portland has been here before and each time, they have responded on the road.  This is a very confident road team and I expect Games 3 and 4 to be close battles with probably a bit more drama thrown in.  It wouldn’t be the WHL Final without it.

Back to the travels…the team left yesterday and rolled into Spokane to stay for the night before rolling on Monday into Cranbrook (which, by the way, is featuring gorgeous weather and incredible mountain views that I’ll get some photo’s of tomorrow).  While we were waiting at the Eastport, ID, border crossing (about 80 km’s from Cranbrook), a construction crew noticed our bus with the team logo and spray painted “Go Ice Go” on the dirt ground next to the bus.  That drew a few chuckles on the bus…and maybe the border crossing guards were Ice fans as well…as it took 45 minutes to get through without really an explanation why.

Once we made it through the border…about halfway to Cranbrook, we were met with the line of cars and trucks you see above.  They were doing some “blasting” of rocks along the highway and we were forced to have nearly an hour wait before being allowed through.  Well…the team took advantage of the time for an unscheduled work out on the highway, featuring some football and a game of sewer ball (I’d explain the rules, but that would take some time and someone to explain it to me)…

The football game had the Coaching staff taking on Tayler Jordan, Mac Carruth, Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Johansen…it was quite competitive…

Mike Johnston channeling Jim Zorn...

Pass interference was liberally allowed in this game...

The Sewer Ball Circle...

Once we got back rolling…the team unloaded the gear and hit the ice for a spirited practice…

Now, we get ready for Game 3…our broadcast will be on Freedom 970 at 5:35 with yours truly, Todd Vrooman and John Kirby.  The game will also be televised live on Comcast SportsNet at 6:00 Pacific Time.

Hawks Take Game 1…

Photo Credit: Bryan Heim

It was 20 year old Craig Cunningham’s entry shot that set up the game-winner last night at the Rose Garden, as late in a power play, Derrick Pouliot fed Cunningham in the left faceoff circle and Cunningham fired a low shot toward the net that Ty Rattie deflected home to give the Portland Winterhawks a 1-0 series lead in the WHL Final against the Kootenay Ice.

Some random thoughts…

– I’m not sure anyone expected the high-scoring race horse style that we saw in the first period last night that resulted in five goals and a 3-2 lead for Portland on Nino Niederreiter’s rebound with just 3.9 seconds remaining in the period.  That style of game, you’d think, would favor Portland, but Kootenay didn’t look bad at it either.

– After that, it settled down and it was a much more controlled pace.  Kootenay got better as the game progressed and the tying goal by Kevin King looked like it may be the momentum turner, but Portland had two strong shifts after the goal to stem the tide and force the OT.

– Both teams penalty kills were strong with Portland going 5 for 5 and the Ice perfect until Rattie’s goal in OT.  The play that resulted in the power play for Portland had James Martin with a slew-foot type action on Ryan Johansen from behind.  It was a dangerous play as Johansen didn’t see him coming.

– Sven Bartschi continues to play well…scoring twice in the first period to give him 4-4-8 in the last three games.  His draft stock, as well as the other three potential early round selections, continues to rise as they are now performing on the biggest stage in the WHL.  Listening to Sven’s post-game interviews shows me just how much his English has improved.

– It may not have been the largest crowd last night, but you guys were certainly loud!  It should be a bigger crowd tonight, so let’s amp it up another notch and show those watching on Shaw TV in Canada and on CSN and Root Sports just why the Winterhawks have the best fans in the WHL!

Game time is 7:00 at the Garden…pre-game show at 6:35 on Freedom 970!

Press Conference Photo’s…

The Camera's on hand...

Kootenay Head Coach Kris Knoblauch...

Cody Eakin

Portland Head Coach Mike Johnston...

Ryan Johansen

  • Questions?

    Got a question for the broadcast crew? You can email questions to hawksradio@gmail.com and if you include your name and city, we just may answer them on the air!