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Portland Winterhawks Split The Week And Split With Two Players

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Portland Winterhawks got both the golden goose and the goose egg this week as they faced off in two home games leading up to their five game road trip.

Facing the always tough Moose Jaw Warriors out of Saskatchewan in their only appearance of the season, the Hawks were in a battle from the beginning. Rodrigo Abols opened the scoring on the power play seven minutes into the game before Brett Howden replied for Moose Jaw four minutes later. In the second, more power play work by the Hawks, this time by Paul Bittner and four minutes later Rodrigo Abols with his second of the game, gave Portland the lead. Moose Jaw wasn't done as Brett Howden tallied a power play marker near the end of the second period to cut the Portland lead to just one. Moose jaw tied the game just under two minutes into the third and overage player Dryden Hunt scored four minutes later and the Warriors were back on top. Portland would come back on the power play as Domini Turgeon scored an unassisted goal and Jack Dougherty would get the Winterhawks back on top with less than three minutes to play in regulation. Less than a minute later, some sloppy defensive work in the Hawks zone allowed Moose Jaw's Marc McNulty to tie the game. 

The game went to overtime, the first time this season that Portland has been a part of the new format. Teams in overtime are allowed to ice just three players plus the goaltender, instead of the regulation game of five aside, which left a lot of open ice. There were some tense moments during the 3-on-3 as both teams made the most of the passing and stretching out the plays. In the end, Portland was able to draw the puck into the Moose Jaw zone and Paul Bittner worked hard behind the net. As two Warrior players converged on him, Bittner fed a pass to the faceoff dot where Keoni Texeira was coming in and he wired a shot past Zach Sawchenko to end the game. Portland would go 3 for 6 on the power play, Moose Jaw would be 1 for 4.  Portland outshot Moose Jaw 39-36. Then it was off for turkey and stuffing and a date two days later with the Vancouver Giants.

The sun was out and the curtains open for the Burgerville Daylight Classic at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Portland's last battle with Vancouver was a convincing victory; however, the Giants had other plans. The game went scoreless in the first period, before Vancouver notched its first of the game just 27 seconds into the second period. Chase Lang scored what would eventually be the game winner for the Giants. Portland appeared to have scored just moments later, but the ruling on the ice and confirmed by video replay was that a "distinct kicking motion" had occurred to direct the pass past the Vancouver goalkeeper. Tyler Benson would add another midway through the third period and goaltender Ryan Kubic, who has played just 14 games including the Portland game over the past three seasons, recorded his first ever shutout. The goose egg is just the second Portland has suffered all season, the last being by Prince Albert back in mid October.  Vancouver outshot Portland 38-34 and both teams were 0 for 3 on the power play.

Portland now hits the road for five games. They will face Prince George in back to back games starting on Tuesday, head to Kamloops on Friday and Kelowna on Saturday. They finish up the road trip in Everett December 9th before heading back home. They will face the Prince George Cougars in back to back games at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on December 11th and 12th. The Friday game is a collection for the Les Schwab/ KPTV Toy Drive. Fans can either bring an unwrapped toy to the game or buy one for donation at the game. The next night is the hugely popular Teddy Bear Toss, where fans can fling their plush toys to the ice in celebration of the Winterhawks first goal of the game. They will be collected and distributed to many local are charities and agencies. The December 12th game is a special 6PM start time.

The Teddy Bear Toss game is the first of eight games to be aired in partnership with CW 32 TV. Other games will include December 19th in Spokane, December 31st vs Seattle, January 2nd versus Spokane, January 23rd, February 13th, March 5th and March 19th all against Seattle from the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington. 

Before the Hawks left for Prince George, they traded two players. Portland traded Austin Gray who had played just a couple of games at the start of the season before leaving and heading home earlier in the month and the rights to Reed Morison who is currently in Calgary for the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.Morison saw very limited action in the past two seasons while in Portland. The Winterhawks acquired a seventh round draft choice for both players in next year's bantam draft from the Kootenay Ice. The Ice have struggled this season with both a tough record on top of injuries that have depleted their ranks tremendously. The Ice also has the worst attendance in the league at just under 1,900 fans per game, less than half of what their arena currently holds. 

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.


Related Slideshow: 5 Sports Teams With Offensive Mascots

Native American activists see the logo of the Portland Winterhawks as offensive and are demanding the team make a change. Here a some other mascots certain people find offensive. 

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