Winterhawks Week in Review – November 14-20, 2011

11/18/11 – Portland 7 – Everett 3 – Comcast Arena:  The Portland Winterhawks won their sixth straight game Friday night with a 7-3 road win over the Everett Silvertips.

Sven Bartschi continued his torrid play with three assists, his fourth straight game with three points. Bartschi has 16 points overall during the winning streak, and a nine-game points streak dating back to before his injury, a streak in which he’s posted an incredible 26 points.

Linemate Ty Rattie scored to extend his goal streak to six games, and he’s also posted 16 points during the winning streak.

Portland opened the scoring 6:10 into the game on a goal by defenseman Troy Rutkowski, and took a 2-0 lead at the 15:02 mark on the first goal of the season from recently-acquired forward Dillon Wagner.

The Hawks extended the lead to 3-0 at the 5:59 mark of the second on a power play goal by Brad Ross, his 14th of the season. The Silvertips got on the board at the 7:44 mark on a goal by Brennan Yadlowski to make it 3-1, but the Hawks went back up by three when Rattie scored his 20th goal of the season with a power play marker to put Portland up 4-1 at the 12:34 mark. Just over a minute later Everett’s JT Barnett scored to make it 4-2 heading into the third.

Portland then put the game out of reach with three straight goals to open the third period, taking a 7-2 lead on goals by Taylor Leier, Rutkowski and Charles Wells. Everett got one back on a goal by Nick Walter to make it 7-3, which would stand as the final.

Mac Carruth picked up the win net for Portland, stopping 33 of 36 shots. Everett netminder Kent Simpson allowed seven Portland goals on 48 shots.

Power Plays:  Portland 3 for 6, Everett 2 for 6

11/19/11 – Seattle 6 – Portland 3 – ShoWare Center:  The Seattle Thunderbirds (9-11-0-0) would score five second period goals and get 47 saves from Calvin Pickard to hand the Portland Winterhawks (14-8-1-1) their first loss in seven games by a margin of 6-3 at the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA.

Portland opened the scoring just 1:41 into the first period when Taylor Peters won a faceoff in the offensive zone back to Derrick Pouliot who fed a pass to Charles Wells for the goal, the second goal in as many nights for Wells.   Seattle would tie the score just over one minute later and Chance Lund got a loose puck in center ice and had his first attempt on a breakaway stopped by Portland goaltender Brendan Burke, but the second effort was put home by Lund and the two teams would be tied 1-1 after the first period.  Portland out-shot Seattle 13-12 in the opening twenty minutes.

The Thunderbirds would take their first lead just seconds into the second period on a goal by Burke Gallimore, but Portland would tie it at 2-2 on a wrist shot by Peters, assisted by Wells and Taylor Leier just over two minutes later.  Seattle would break open the game with four goals in just under seven minutes to take a 6-2 lead on a short handed goal by Luke Lockhart,  and even strength goals by Dave Sutter, Gallimore and Shea Theordore.  Burke was replaced by Mac Carruth after the sixth goal and In the final two minutes of the period, Sven Bartschi would earn a penalty shot on a partial breakaway, but his attempt hit the post behind Pickard.  Just seconds later, Portland would respond with a goal on a wrist shot by Joe Morrow, set up by a face-off win by Seth Swenson.  Portland out-shot Seattle 16-10 in the period, but trailed 6-3 after the middle frame.

Neither team could dent the twine in the third period, with Portland once again out-shooting Seattle 18-8 in the final period for a 50-33 advantage during the game.

Pickard would pick up the victory for Seattle making 47 saves on 50 shots while Burke took the loss for Portland, stopping 16 of 22 in 33:12 of game action.  Carruth would stop all 11 shots he faced in relief in just under 27 minutes.

Power Plays:  Portland 0 for 5, Seattle 0 for 6

Week Statistics:

Goals:  Portland 10 – Opponents 9 (Season – Portland 95 – Opponents 86)

Shots:  Portland 98 – Opponents 69 (Season – Portland 952 – Opponents 701)

Power Play:  3 for 11 – 27.3% (Season – 33 for 125 – 26.4% – 3rd in WHL)

Penalty Kill:  10 for 12 – 83.3% (Season – 86 for 103 – 83.5% – 2nd in WHL)

Kemper’s Three Stars of the Week:

1. Taylor Peters – 1-3-4 and a +6 in two games.

2. Charles Wells – 2-2-4 and a +5 in two games.

3. Taylor Leier – 1-2-3 and a +4 in two games.

Honorable Mentions:

Troy Rutkowski – 2-1-3 in two games.

Derrick Pouliot – 0-2-2 in two games.

Milestones Reached:

Brad Ross – 225th Career WHL Game Played (11/18)

Roster Moves:

None

What to watch for in the upcoming week:

It will be a busy week for the Winterhawks with four games in six nights starting tomorrow night at the Rose Garden against the Regina Pats.

The Pats are fourth in a very tough Eastern Division, sitting at 12-8-1-1 (26 points) after 22 games.  They started off their U.S. Division swing with a 6-5 shootout loss to Spokane on Saturday night.  They are led by 19 year old center Jordan Weal, who has posted 10-23-33 in 21 games and is a +15.  On defense, Brandon Davidson has good offensive numbers with 6-14-20 in 22 games.  In goal, Matt Hewitt has been the workhorse, appearing in 19 games with a 12-5-1-1 record and a 2.50 GAA and a .914 save %.

On Wednesday, the Hawks travel to Kennewick to take on the Tri City Americans for the fourth time this season.  The Americans have won the first three games of the season series and lead the U.S. Division with a 16-6-0-0 record (32 points) after 22 games.  Overage forward Adam Hughesman leads the Ams offensively with 15-21-36 in 22 games while Justin Feser, Brendan Shinnimin and Patrick Holland are all averaging at least a point per game.  Zachary Yuen leads the defense with 4-7-11 in 22 games.  In net, it has been almost split duties between Ty Rimmer (14 GP, 10-3-0-0, 1.77, .941) and Eric Comrie (10 GP, 6-3-0-0, 3.16, .883).

Friday afternoon brings the Spokane Chiefs back to Portland for the daylight classic at 3:00 at the Memorial Coliseum.  Portland won the first two games of the season series on home ice, one in a shootout, the other in overtime.  The Chiefs currently sit third in the U.S. Division at 10-5-1-2 (23 points) but have played the fewest games of any team in the WHL.  Anthony Bardaro has returned from injury and leads the Chiefs with 10-12-22 in 16 games played.  Brenden Kichton has 2-13-15 from the blueline for Spokane.  Mac Engel has appeared in 15 games with a record of 8-5-1-1, 2.71 and .898.

Lastly, the Hawks host the Swift Current Broncos on Sunday evening at the MC.  The Broncos are currently at 10-11-2-1 (23 points) and fifth in the Eastern Division.  They boast the WHL’s top power play unit, sitting at 32.1% after this past weekend’s games.  Overage forward Taylor Vause leads the way with 13-18-31 after 24 games while Adam Lowry and Coda Gordon each average over a point per game.  Reece Scarlett leads the way for defensemen, posting 4-17-21 in 23 games.  Overage Jon Groenheyde was acquired from Edmonton to be the number one goaltender, and he has appeared in 19 games with a 8-6-1-2 record, 3.89 and .881.

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Winterhawks Week in Review – November 7-13, 2011

11/11/11 – Portland 6 – Spokane 5 (SO) – Rose Garden – The first game back home for the Portland Winterhawks after the long 17 day, nine game odyssey and it was a barn burner as the Hawks, who never led during the game, tied it late and then won in a six round shootout over the Chiefs.

Spokane would lead 2-1 after 20 minutes on an even-strength goal by Mike Aviani and a power play goal by Marek Kalus.  Portland would sandwich a short-handed marker by Taylor Peters in between the two Chiefs goals, on a rebound that bounced in off Spokane defenseman Brenden Kichton’s skate.

In the second, Portland would tie the score at 2-2 on a power play goal by Brad Ross, but Steven Kuhn would regain the lead on a power play goal of his own 8:30 into the middle frame.  Ty Rattie would tie the score again on the power play, but just 54 seconds later, Darren Kramer would score on a two-on-one to make it 4-3 Chiefs after two periods.

Rattie with yet another power play goal would tie it at 4-4 halfway through the second period, but again the Chiefs would answer quickly, and again it was just 54 seconds later on a goal by Connor Chartier.  The Hawks pulled goaltender Mac Carruth in the final minute and they capitalized when Sven Bartschi (with his third assist on the night) would set up Ross for his second goal of the night to force overtime.

No scoring in overtime, and the shootout would se Kalus, Jarid Hauptman and Aviani score for Spokane while Rattie, Bartschi and Brendan Leipsic would counter for Portland.  In the sixth round, Taylor Leier would score and Carruth stopped Reid Gow to preserve the Hawks fourth shootout win in five attempts this season.

Carruth would stop 32 of 37 for the victory while Mac Engel would handle 35 of 40 in the loss.

Power Plays:  Portland 3 for 6, Spokane 2 for 7

11/12/11 – Portland 4 – Spokane 3 (OT) – Rose Garden – A role reversal from the night before as Portland would take the early lead only to see Spokane tie the game in the third, but in overtime, a fantastic play would seal the victory for the Hawks to extend their winning streak to five games.

The Hawks would score first on the power play when on a faceoff in the defensive zone, linesman Brian Fortin waited and motioned for Steven Kuhn of the Chiefs to line up for the draw and when he didn’t, Fortin dropped the puck and Ross got the puck to Rattie and sprung up the right wing.  Rattie fed it back to Ross and his wrister from the right circle slipped under the arm of Engle for the 1-0 lead.  Just 23 seconds later, Rattie took a feed from Bartschi in neutral ice, crossed the line and fired a wrister top corner from the top of the circles to make it 2-0 after one period for Portland.

In the second, Spokane would get one back on a fluky play when Portland knocked the puck off the back of the goal in behind Carruth and it popped up and over the net in the crease where Kramer banged it home to make it 2-1.  Rattie would score again halfway through the period, set up by Bartschi on a two-on-one for his league leading 10th power play goal of the season.

In the third, Kichton would throw a bad angle shot on net that Carruth would stop, but when trying to knock it out of the air and out of trouble, it bounced off of Carruth’s stick and into the net to make it 3-2.  A little over 90 seconds later, Collin Valcourt would tip in a rebound of a Tanner Mort shot and it was even at 3-3 and headed to overtime.

Just 30 seconds into OT, Tyler Wotherspoon would feed Ty Rattie and Rattie would carry it into the offensive zone, spinning 360 degrees in the left circle and feeding a perfect pass to Bartschi who got behind the defense and he made no mistake, filing the backhand to provide the winner.

Carruth would stop 27 of 30 for the win for Portland while Engel made 47 saves on 51 shots to earn the road point for the Chiefs.

Power Plays:  Portland 2 for 6, Spokane 0 for 2

Week Statistics:

Goals:  Portland 10 – Opponents 8 (Season – Portland 85 – Opponents 77)

Shots:  Portland 92 – Opponents 67 (Season – Portland 854 – Opponents 632)

Power Play:  5 for 13 38.5% (Season – 30 for 114 – 26.3% – 3rd in WHL)

Penalty Kill:  7 for 9 77.8% (Season – 76 for 91 – 83.5% – 3rd in WHL)

Kemper’s Three Stars of the Week:

1 – Ty Rattie – Pretty easy selection here…4-3-7 in two games and now on a career high five game goal streak with 8 goals in those five games.

2 – Sven Bartschi – 1-5-6 in two games, now on a career high eight game assist streak with 18 assists in those eight games.

3 – Brad Ross – 3-0-3 in two games.

Honorable Mentions:

Joe Morrow – 0-3-3 in one game

Milestones Reached:

Ty Rattie – 150th career WHL Point (11/11)

Joe Morrow – 100th career WHL Point (11/11)

Taylor Peters – 200th career WHL Game Played (11/11)

Roster Moves:

Dillon Wagner – Activated from Injury List (11/11)

Tyler Parker – Released (11/7)

What to watch for in the upcoming week:

No mid-week games in the WHL this week as the Subway Super Series takes part with two games in Regina and Moose Jaw on Wednesday and Thursday.  Ty Rattie, Brad Ross and Joe Morrow will all play for Team WHL (Canada) against Team Russia in Regina on Wednesday night.  All three will be back with the Hawks in time for the two games next weekend in the Puget Sound.

On Friday, the Hawks take on the Everett Silvertips looking to avenge the road loss the Hawks suffered in October at the Comcast Arena.  The ‘Tips are struggling this year, going just 5-14-0-3 in 22 games and are last in the Western Conference.  Add in they have lost top d-man Ryan Murray to injury and all-time leading goal scorer Tyler Maxwell due to a trade request and subsequent removal from the roster and it has been a tough few months for new Head Coach Mark Ferner.  Josh Birkholz has been a bright spot, garnering 9-12-21 in 22 games while Kent Simpson has a respectable .909 save percentage in net.

On Saturday, the Hawks move south to Kent to renew their rivalry with the Seattle Thunderbirds.  Portland has won the first two meetings of the season and will look to make it three straight against new ‘Birds Coach and former Winterhawk Steve Konowalchuk.  The ‘Birds are 7-11-0-0 after 18 games and are led by Marcel Noebels (8-7-15 in 17 games) and Burke Gallimore (8-3-11 in 18 games).  Seattle has retooled their blue line, bringing in Kyle Verdino, Brad Deagle, Cason Machacek and Braden Laroque via trades from the Eastern Conference.  Branden Troock has also returned from long-term injury and has 3-3-6 in 18 games played.  Calvin Pickard’s numbers aren’t where they have been the past three seasons, sitting at 4.03 GAA and a .893 save %.

Lest We Forget…

 

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Winterhawks Weekly Report – October 31 – November 6, 2011

A nice way to finish the 17 day, 9 game road trip with three wins in BC for Portland Winterhawks, here is how it played out:

11/2/11 – Portland 4 – Kamloops 2 – Interior Savings Centre:  After missing the first six games of the road trip with an injury, Sven Bartschi returned to the Hawks line-up and made a huge impact as he scored the game winner and had two assists in the 4-2 win over the BC Division leaders.

Charles Wells would get it started in the first minute, finishing a feed from Tayler Peters, to take a 1-0 lead.  Colin Smith would even it on a power play goal late in the first period and it was 1-1 after one period.

Portland would take a two-goal lead on a slapper from Tyler Wotherspoon and a rebound by Bartschi but Kamloops would score short-handed by Logan McVeigh to make it 3-2 Hawks after two periods.

The lone goal of the third period was a deflection by Ty Rattie off a Joe Morrow entry shot on the power play to provide the insurance marker.

Mac Carruth would stop 26 of 28 shots for the win as the Hawks out-shot Kamloops 44-28 on the night.

Power Plays:  Portland 1 for 5, Kamloops 1 for 6

11/4/11 – Portland 6 – Kelowna 5 (SO) – Prospera Place:  In a game where the Hawks never led, they persevered and got a 6-5 win in the shootout over Kelowna.

Once again it was even 1-1 after one period as Brett Bulmer scored short-handed for Kelowna and William Wrenn answered for Portland on a point shot in the first 13 minutes of the contest.

Kelowna would take a two-goal lead on goals by Shane McColgan and Zach Franko but Portland would cut it to 3-2 after two periods on a short-handed goal by Ty Rattie with just 52 seconds remaining in the frame.

Tyler Wotherspoon would tie the game with his third goal in three games early in the third, but Franko would regain the lead just over halfway through the third.  Just 16 seconds after Franko’s goal, Brad Ross would pull the Hawks even.  Bulmer would add his second of the night with just under seven minutes left, but Rattie’s second of the game on a wrap-around would send the game to OT with under three minutes remaining in regulation.

Neither team would score in OT and Sven Bartschi would be the only skater of the six in the shootout to score, giving the Hawks the 6-5 win.

Brendan Burke started for Portland, stopping 14 of 19 shots in 65 minutes while Mac Carruth came in to stop all 3 shootout attempts to get the victory.  Portland out-shot Kelowna 49-19.

Power Plays:  Portland 0 for 3, Kelowna 1 for 7

11/5/11 – Portland 3 – Kelowna 1 – Prospera Place:  After the high scoring game on Friday night, the Hawks and Rockets played a bit more conservative hockey on Saturday night, and the Hawks prevailed 3-1.

Ty Rattie got his third goal in as many games to get the Hawks started just 38 seconds into the opening period, but it was quickly answered by Jessey Astles under three minutes later and for the third consecutive game, it was a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes.

The second period almost went scoreless, but Derrick Pouliot converted an end board feed from Sven Bartschi with just 14 seconds left in the period to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Pouliot would add an insurance marker on a mid-air deflection of a Rattie centering pass five minutes into the third and that would be all the Hawks would need.  Bartschi assisted on all three goals, giving him 18 assists and 24 points in just 11 games played.

Mac Carruth would stop 30 of 31 shots for his third consecutive win, as Portland out-shot the Rockets 34-31.

Power Plays – Portland 1 for 4, Kelowna 0 for 3

Week Statistics:

Goals:  Portland 13 – Opponents 8 (Season – Portland 75 – Opponents 69)

Shots:  Portland 127 – Opponents 78 (Season – Portland 762 – Opponents 565)

Power Play:  2 for 12 16.7% (Season – 25 for 101 – 24.8% – 3rd in WHL)

Penalty Kill:  14 for 16 87.5% (Season – 69 for 82 – 84.1% – 2nd in WHL)

Kemper’s Three Stars of the Week:

1. Mac Carruth – 3 appearances, 3-0-0-0 record, 1.50 GAA, .966 save % and a relief shootout win.  Also named WHL Goaltender of the Week.

2. Sven Bartschi – 3 GP, 1-6-7.  Came back from missing six games without missing a beat.  Now on a six game assist streak, a career high with 13 assists during that stretch.

3. Ty Rattie – 3 GP, 4-3-7.  After being held off the scoresheet in Kootenay (after points in eight straight games), Rattie responded with the return of Bartschi to post a team high 15 goals through just 19 games played.

Honorable Mentions:

Tyler Wotherspoon – 2-1-3 in 3 games

Derrick Pouliot – 2-1-3 in 3 games

Milestones Reached:

Troy Rutkowski – 225th Career WHL Game Played (11/2)

Ty Rattie – 40th Career WHL Multi-Point Game (11/5)

Roster Moves:

Ben Betker (94-D) signed and played one game on 11/2 before being reassigned back to Westside Warriors of the BCHL.

What to watch for in the upcoming week:

The Hawks finally return home to the friendly confines of the Rose Garden, but it won’t be an easy weekend as the Spokane Chiefs come calling for back-to-back games on Friday (7PM) and Saturday (special 5 PM start).

The Chiefs come in having played on 14 games on the season, going 9-4-0-1 for 19 points.  Only four of those games have been played on the road, with a 0-3-0-1 road record while going 9-1-0-0 at home.

Anthony Bardaro leads the offense with 10-10-20 in 14 games with seven of his goals coming on the power play.  The Chiefs have a balanced attack with 19 players having scored at least one goal, while having just four players with five or more.

Mac Engel is the number one goaltender for the Chiefs, going 7-4-0-0 in 11 appearances with a 2.23 GAA and a .906 save %.

The Chiefs power play is currently ranked 6th in the WHL at 23.0% while their penalty kill sits at 7th in the WHL at 81.7%.

Winterhawks Quarterly Report

With the 4-2 win last night in Kamloops, the Portland Winterhawks have played 18 regular season games and have reached the first quarter pole of the 2011-12 season.

As I’ve done in years past, I’ve put together how the first 18 games of the 2011-12 season have compared to the same number of games in 2010-11.  One thing is for certain, the first 18 games of 2010-11 were magical and set the tone for the season.  In 2011-12, the Hawks have coped with massive graduation of veteran players and the infiltration of a number of rookies into high profile roles.

Here how the two 18 game stretches compare:

Record:

2010-11 – 15-2-0-1, 31 pts (Home – 8-1-0-1, Road – 7-1-0-0)

2011-12 – 9-7-1-1, 20 pts (Home – 5-2-1-0, Road – 4-5-0-1)

Goals For:

2010-11 – 70 (3.89/game)

2011-12 – 66 (3.67/game)

Goals Against:

2010-11 – 43 (2.39/game)

2011-12 – 63 (3.50/game)

Shots For:

2010-11 – 619 (34.39/game)

2011-12 – 679 (37.72/game)

Shots Against:

2010-11 – 638 (35.44/game)

2011-12 – 515 (28.61/game)

Power Plays:

2010-11 – 18 of 86 – 20.9% – 2 short-handed goals against

2011-12 – 24 of 94 – 25.5% – 4 short-handed goals against

Penalty Kill:

2010-11 – 100 of 112 – 89.3% – 1 short-handed goal for

2011-12 – 60 of 72 – 83.3% – 3 short-handed goals for

Individual (Returning Players):

2 – Troy Rutkowski:

2010-11 – 18 GP, 2-8-10, 21 PIM, +7

2011-12 – 18 GP, 3-4-7, 15 PIM, -1

4 – Josh Hanson:

2010-11 – 13 GP, 1-0-1, 8 PIM, +4

2011-12 – 18 GP, 0-4-4, 4 PIM, -4

7 – Joe Morrow:

2010-11 – 10 GP, 1-7-8, 11 PIM, +6

2011-12 – 13 GP, 3-9-12, 26 PIM, -3

8 – Ty Rattie:

2010-11 – 18 GP, 11-19-30, 23 PIM, +14

2011-12 – 17 GP, 12-12-24, 24 PIM, -4

18 – Brad Ross:

2010-11 – 17 GP, 8-10-18, 44 PIM, +11

2011-12 – 18 GP, 9-13-22, 47 PIM, -6

23 – Seth Swenson:

2010-11 – 15 GP, 0-2-2, 14 PIM, +2

2011-12 – 18 GP, 1-1-2, 8 PIM, -6

25 – Taylor Peters:

2010-11 – 18 GP, 1-3-4, 28 PIM, +1

2011-12 – 18 GP, 4-4-8, 12 PIM, -7

26 – Tyler Wotherspoon:

2010-11 – 16 GP, 0-4-4, 28 PIM, +4

2011-12 – 13 GP, 2-3-5, 10 PIM, +4

27 – Sven Bartschi:

2010-11 – 18 GP, 13-15-28, 10 PIM, +10

2011-12 – 9 GP, 6-14-20, 8 PIM, +2

28 – Brendan Leipsic:

2010-11 – 17 GP, 5-2-7, 4 PIM, +6

2011-12 – 13 GP, 6-4-10, 17 PIM, +1

31 – Mac Carruth:

2010-11 – 9 GP, 8-1-0-0, 1.75 GAA, .948 save %

2011-12 – 16 GP, 8-7-1-0, 2.99 GAA, .895 save %

40 – Jason Trott:

2010-11 – 1 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM, Even

2011-12 – 18 GP, 4-1-5, 16 PIM, Even

44 – William Wrenn:

2010-11 – Had not joined team yet.

2011-12 – 18 GP, 1-5-6, 6 PIM, Even

51 – Derrick Pouliot:

2010-11 – 16 GP, 1-7-8, 11 PIM, -3

2011-12 – 18 GP, 3-9-12, 21 PIM, -7

Johansen Sticks in Columbus

(John Grieshop/Getty Images)

With one tweet, the anticipation ended:

Scott Howson

@GMScottHowson Scott Howson
We have decided to keep Ryan Johnasen through the 10 game threshhold which means the 1st year of his contract will apply to this season.

And (forgiving the misspelling of Ryan’s last name above), with that, we now know that Ryan Johansen will remain with the Columbus Blue Jackets for now.  This doesn’t mean that he won’t be returned to Portland to play for the Winterhawks at some point in the season, but the chances are slim.

The Johansen story has to be one of the more incredible tales ever told in Portland Winterhawks history.  His rise from being a 7th round bantam draft pick to being a NHL player at the age of 19 defies reason.  I can still remember the 15 year old Johansen in his first WHL camp in Portland.  He was a boy that was trying to fit into a man’s body.  He was tall, lanky and (as he described himself) had a bit of baby moose legs…a little wobbly and unsteady.

But there was no denying the kid had skill and the determination and work ethic to go after his dream.  His decision to go to the BCHL in Penticton and to verbally commit to Northeastern University cast some doubt on whether he would ever play in Portland, but you got a sense that he always wanted to play in the WHL and with the new regime in Portland, it was cast that he would be a Winterhawk.

And, it was a great run – the numbers:  134 GP, 65 goals, 96 assists, 161 points, +61, 117 PIM…19 power play goals, 2 short handed, 11 game winners.  It didn’t drop off in the postseason:  34 GP, 19 goals, 27 assists, 46 points, +10, 24 PIM…4 power play goals, 1 short handed, 4 game winners.

He now will try and do his part to help resurrect the franchise in Columbus.  So far, two goals that were both game winners in the Blue Jackets only two wins.  Not a bad way to start your NHL career.

Best of luck, Ryan…we will miss you in Portland, but we are blessed for having watched you develop and become the player and person you are now.

And don’t forget…

Winterhawks Week in Review – 10/23 – 10/30/11…

Not a lot of time today to do game recaps of the four games, for those you can go here.  Here are the scores for the past week:

10/25/11 – Portland 7 – Calgary 1 – ScotiaBank Saddledome

10/26/11 – Medicine Hat 4 – Portland 2 – The Arena

10/28/11 – Portland 4 – Lethbridge 1 – Enmax Centre

10/29/11 – Kootenay 4 – Portland 1 – Cranbrook Rec Plex

Week Statistics:

Goals:  Portland 14 – Opponents 10 (Season – Portland 62 – Opponents 61)

Shots:  Portland 134 – Opponents 122 (Season – Portland 635 – Opponents 487)

Power Play:  3 for 21 – 14.3% (Season – 23 for 89 25.8% – 3rd in WHL)

Penalty Kill:  17 for 19 – 89.5% (Season – 55 for 66 83.3% – 3rd in WHL)

Kemper’s Three Stars of the Week:

1. William Wrenn – Posted 1-3-4 in the four games and a +6 for the week.

2. Taylor Peters – Posted 1-2-3 in the four games and a +3 for the week.

3. Chase De Leo – Posted 1-2-3 in the four games and a +2 for the week.

Honorable Mentions:

Ty Rattie – 1-2-3 in 4 games

Brad Ross – 2-1-3 in 4 games

Brendan Leipsic – 2-1-3 in 4 games

Jason Trott – 2-1-3 in 4 games

Mac Carruth – 2-2-0-0, 2.01 GAA, .938 save %

Milestones Reached:

Brad Ross – 75th career WHL Goal (10/25/11)

Charles Wells – 250th Career WHL Game Played (10/28/11)

Mac Carruth – 5,000th Minute Played and 2,500th Career WHL Save (10/29/11)

Roster Moves:

Dillon Wagner acquired from Swift Current for Adam Smith (10/27/11)

Ryley Bennefield reassigned to Grande Prairie of AJHL (10/28/11)

What to watch for in the upcoming week:

The long and winding road trip concludes this week with three games in BC, starting on Wednesday night in Kamloops.  The Blazers currently have the highest winning percentage in the WHL at .786 (11-3-0-0).  Included in the 11 wins is the 5-4 OT win over Portland at the Memorial Coliseum earlier this month when Brendan Ranford scored 4-1-5.  Colin Smith leads the Blazers in scoring with 18 points in 14 games while Ranford has 16 points in just 11 games.  The Blazers have a balanced attack with seven players having more than 10 points on the season.  Cole Cheveldave and Cam Lanigan have split time in net for Kamloops, with Cheveldave posting better numbers at 2.18 GAA and a .921 save % in 6 appearances while going 5-0-0-0.

The Hawks will then travel to Kelowna for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday.  The Rockets have been inconsistent to start the season, sitting at an uncharacteristic 5-9-1-0 through 15 games.  They are led by Shane McColgan with 17 points in 14 games while d-men Myles Bell and Damon Severson each have 14 points from the blue line.  The Rockets will have Brett Bulmer back in the line-up after nine games in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild, where he picked up three assists.  Adam Brown is the number one starter in Kelowna, but he has had a bit of a tough start with a 3.77 GAA and a .885 save % through 13 appearances.

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