Winterhawks Split the Weekend & Now Hit the Road
Tuesday, October 04, 2016
Stuart Kemp, Oregon Sports News
This past weekend, the Portland Winterhawks unveiled the new video screens and scoreboard at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum against the Everett Silvertips, but most agreed the highlights didn't need to be shown. It was a strong effort by the Tips versus a weaker effort by the Hawks that resulted in a 3-1 win for Everett. The score to many was flattering as the Tips earned every one of the goals that they scored. In a positive, Keegan Iverson returned to the lineup and announced that night as the new team captain. Alex Overhardt scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game at one before Everett picked up a late goal in the second period and added insurance early in the third to salt it away. Portland did make a strong showing shots wise in the third, firing 15 shots Everett's way to just 3 for the Tips, but Carter Hart stopped them all to preserve the victory. Shots on goal were close at 33-32, with Everett scoring a power play goal on five tries, while the Hawks were blanked on three chances, but did get the shorthanded marker.
Portland had no time to wallow in the loss, instead focusing on the Seattle Thunderbirds the following night. As part of an eight game road trip that would see the team head east, the Hawks took it upon themselves to relive the first meeting with Seattle, one that had earned them a 7-3 win. This night in the ShoWare Center, on an evening where Seattle's home opener would take place and banners representing last season's US Division and Western Conference were raised, it was Portland gaining victory.
Five different scorers piled on 6 goals to skate away with a 6-1 win. Portland would get four goals on five power play chances plus a penalty shot goal late in the contest while Seattle would go scoreless on seven power plays as the Hawks shutdown their offense most of the night. Ryan Toth who was looking to redeem himself after the last Portland game, could not be faulted on any of the four goals that got past him before he was replaced by 16-year-old Carl Stankowski midway through the second period. Stankowski would also not be faulted on the two that got past him either as the Hawks looked to gain a little traction heading on the road for eight games (including this one) over 2 weeks. The second televised game for Portland on CW32 was tonic for the Hawks who have now outscored Seattle 13-4 in the two games thus far. The only player left off the Seattle roster was Matthew Barzal, still with the NY Islanders and no timeframe for his return.
Portland again had no celebration time as the time would have a 15-hour drive to Swift Current, Saskatchewan to begin their 6 game Eastern Conference swing. The team will play Tuesday in Swift Current versus the Broncos and then yo-yo across the province with nearly five hour trips up to Prince Albert, down to Moose Jaw, up to Saskatoon and a six-hour trek east to Brandon, Manitoba before ending the trip through Saskatchewan with a game in Regina. With less than two days to travel, the Hawks will end the grueling trip in Spokanem before their next home game on Tuesday, October 18th versus Tri-City Americans.
The Portland Winterhawks have announced the signings of defensemen 16-year-old Nick Cicek and 17-year-old Darren Gisti to standard WHL contracts. They will both remain with their respective Manitoba Junior leagues for the time being. Ethan Middendorf, a 17-year-old goaltender who is currently on the Winterhawks roster, has been loaned to the Vancouver (WA) Rangers of the Western States Hockey League. With Middendorf coming off concussion issues the past two seasons and in need of active playing time, the Rangers were able to offer both playing time and a location close to the Portland Winterhawks home base. Middendorf played a double overtime game in his first appearance making 32 saves in a 6-5 loss.
Ice Chips: The Portland Winterhawks will celebrate Toyota Hockey Family Day on Saturday, October 22nd at 12 different Toyota dealerships from Salem, OR to Longview, Wa. The event from 12-1 will feature Hawks players at all dealerships plus more. The Portland Winterhawks Booster Club announced that its fan trip to Canada with games in Prince George, Kamloops and Kelowna is close to a sellout and the local trip to Everett in December is well on its way to a go. For further information on the fan trips or the Booster Club please visit http://www.pwhbc.com.