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Portland Winterhawks Wings Clipped in Weekend Games

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

 

Just over twenty games are left in the regular season and the US Division is no closer to determining its champion, let alone its divisional representatives. With only ten points separating first and fourth place and over forty points per team still available to be had, the race is certain to be undecided until the final week which isn't until the middle of March.

On the road this week, Portland lost four of those points against teams from the BC Division as they faced the top of the Western Conference and the division’s wildcard team. The Hawks headed into Kelowna to face the Rockets, a team that Portland has owned for the past few years, but has rebounded to be an almost unstoppable team this season. In Kelowna, Portland picked up a lead in the first period of 2-1 and seemed to be holding court headed into the second period. Kelowna had other ideas as they would pick up a regular strength goal early in the period, followed by a powerplay goal just a minute later. Penalty trouble late in the second period led Kelowna to an early goal and opened a three goal margin midway through the third period with yet another powerplay goal. The three goals on seven opportunities helped to sever any life left in the Winterhawks.  Portland would add a late goal in the third, but it was too little, too late and the Rockets would take the 5-3 win. Portland's inability on four powerplays of their own certainly didn't help their cause. Adin Hill was the major player in this game as he faced 44 Kelowna shots versus only 24 fired on Michael Herringer in the Rockets net.

A three hour drive to Kamloops to face the Blazers was next up on the docket and the Hawks found themselves in trouble early. Giving up a powerplay goal just under four minutes in the first period and an early goal in the second period, seemed to give Kamloops the lift they wanted. However, Portland found a way to fight back as Alex Schoenborn added to his magical scoring season just a couple minutes after the Kamloops score to put some momentum Portland's way. Despite the pressure on Connor Ingram in the Kamloops net, the Hawks would be down one at the end of two periods. It would be just four minutes remaining in the final period that Jack Dougherty on the powerplay, would manage to pull the Hawks even. Kamloops would not be denied as breakdowns in the Winterhawks defensive zone, gave Kamloops what they needed to get the puck past Adin Hill. 

With only ninety seconds remaining in the period, Kamloops took a delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass and the Hawks made the move to pull Adin Hill for the extra attacker. The Hawks were buzzing around the Kamloops net, but unable to get the puck past Ingram. With time winding down , a desperate pass in the Kamloops defensive zone was intercepted and brought into the Hawks zone. Despite an attempt at a save by defenceman Caleb Jones, the puck hit the twine and ended the Hawks night with a 4-2 loss. Both goaltenders made some incredible saves throughout the game that kept it tight all game long, but it was special teams that made the difference. Kamloops was 1 for 1 on the powerplay also adding a short-handed empty net goal, while Portland was only able to convert 1 of 5 opportunities.

Meanwhile, the Spokane Chiefs, who the Hawks had led in the standings at the start of the weekend, dropped a 7-3 decision to the last place Tri-City Americans but followed up with a 4-1 win over US Division leading Everett Silvertips. With the win and Hawks losses, the Chiefs pulled a point ahead of Portland with two games in hand. Seattle Thunderbirds dropped a  2-1 battle to Everett and then shutout Kelowna 2-0. 

Portland continues its US Division battles this week with a road game against the Everett Silvertips who are currently operating with just one goaltender due to injury and then back to back home games against Seattle and Victoria. All three of these matchups are important for all teams involved as Seattle and Everett battle for top spot in the US Division while trying to stop the progress of Portland and Spokane. Tri-City, who sits just six points out of a playoff spot, is also making its case as well. The BC Division sees Victoria sitting just four points back of Kelowna with Prince George Cougars four points behind the Royals. Kamloops who is nine points back of the Cougars, has a bit of a cushion with three games in hand and nine points up on last place Vancouver.

Ice Chips: The Winterhawks weekend's games feature a couple of events that are certain to appeal to all ages. First up will be the annual Mascot Night on Friday. Tom-A-Hawk invites his mascot friends to a meet and greet on the concourse pregame and then a game of shimmy hockey on the ice during an intermission. Fans are encouraged to bring their cameras for the photo-ops. The action moves to a more adult nature on Saturday with Guy's Night where men over 21 can shoot on the net after the game to win prizes from Widmer Brewing. 

The Portland Winterhawks Booster Club opens up its membership drive this weekend and hopes to continue its strong membership of close to or over 500 members over the past several years. Preseason renewals will be entered to win a team signed stick.

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: Oregon’s Most Devastating Sports Injuries

Here is GoLocalPDX's list of Oregon's most devastating injuries that have occured within the past 10 years.

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Greg Oden

Sept. 2007 — Micro fracture surgery on right knee

Dec. 2009 — Fractured left patella 

Nov. 2010 — Micro fracture surgery on left knee

Dec. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on right knee

Unfortunately, Trail Blazer fans everywhere already know how drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant worked out for their team. After being be the #1 selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden was never able to play a full season due to ongoing knee injuries. The team eventually waived him in March of 2012.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
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Dennis Dixon

Nov. 2007 — Torn left ACL

During the 2007 season Dixon had the Oregon Ducks as the #2 team in the country. That was until he suffered a torn ACL against Arizona State and attempted to play on it the following week against Arizona. After Dixon went down for the season the Ducks lost their remaining two regular season games. Fortunately, they were able to end their season on a high note with a victory over South Florida in the 2007 Sun Bowl.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
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Brandon Roy

Sept. 2008 — Cartilage removed from left knee

April 2010 — Meniscus tear in right knee

Jan. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on both knees

Brandon Roy is perhaps one of the most beloved Trail Blazers in the history of the franchise. After being drafted in 2006, and leading the team out of the "Jail-Blazer" era, he had to make the tough decision to retire at the young age of 28. His degenerative knees prevented Rip City from seeing their superstar ever play to his full potential.

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Jacquizz Rodgers

Nov. 2008 — Grade II separation of the acromioclavicular joint

During the second to last game in 2008 Jacquizz Rodgers suffered a separated shoulder that ended his season. Unfortunately, this meant that he wasn't able to play in the Civil War, which was perhaps the biggest game of the year for the Beavers. If the Beavers had been able to defeat the Ducks they would've been able to book their tickets to play in the Rose Bowl. Instead, they went to the Sun Bowl where they defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
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James Rodgers

Oct. 2009 — Torn left ACL

After participating in only 4 games during the 2009 season Rodgers went down with a torn ACL while playing against #9 Arizona. This couldn't have come at a worse time for Rodgers considering he was expected to have a breakout season. Rodgers, who was a senior at the time, was able to end his career at Oregon State as the career leader in all-purpose yards.

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Joel Pryzbilla

Dec. 2009 — Ruptured right patella tendon and dislocated patella

In December of 2009 the Trail Blazers' backup center, Joel Pryzbilla, was lost for the season with a ruptured and dislocated patella. This was a huge blow to the Trailblazers' frontcourt because they had already lost Oden for the season a few weeks before. Pryzbilla was also the team's defensive anchor who provided an inside presence. "The Vanilla Gorilla" was sorely missed for the rest of the year.

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LaMichael James

Oct. 2011 — Dislocated right elbow

The 2011 season couldn't have started any better for LaMichael James. After the first game James became Oregon's career rushing leader, surpassing Derek Loville. During the second game he rushed for over 200 yards against Missouri State. Unfortunately, James' year was slowed by a dislocated elbow suffered against Cal. Luckily for Duck fans he was able to return to end the season.

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Nate Costa

Nov. 2010 —Torn Right ACL

After suffering a multitude of knee injuries throughout his career at Oregon Costa was forced to officially retire from football after tearing his ACL for the third time in agame against Washington. Although Costa's career was hobbled by injuries many of his teammates looked to him as their leader. Oregon's coaching staff referred to Costa as the "heart and soul" of the 2010 team that won the Rose Bowl.

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Sean Mannion

Oct. 2012 — Torn Left Meniscus

During the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, Sean Mannion was enjoying one of his best as a Beaver. Unfortunately, he tore his left meniscus against Washington State that resulted in him missing around half the season. With Mannion leading the way the Beavers had the Pac-12's fourth rated offense, averaging 459.5 yeards per game. With Mannion sidelined Cody Vaz became the starting quarterback

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Marcus Mariota

Oct. 2013 — Partial MCL Tear

Marcus Mariota is widely regarded as one of the greatest Oregon Duck quarterbacks to ever play at Autzen. Unfortunately a knee injury hobbled his sophomore season. After Mariota suffered a partial MCL tear against UCLA he conintued to play the remainder of the season. With Mariota's knee not allowing him to be as mobile as he was accustomed to teams were able to take advantage. In the weeks following the injury the Ducks suffered losses to Stanford and Arizona. Duck fans everywhere would like to know what that season woud've loked like if Mariota had stayed healthy.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
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CJ McCollum

Oct. 2013 — Broken fifth Metatarsal In Left Foot

After being taken 10th overall during the 2013 NBA Draft the shooting guard out of Lehigh wasn't able to start his career the way many had hoped. After breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot the rookie wasn't able to take the court until January of 2014. Before the injury McCollum was in consideration for playing time behind Lillard. 

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
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Alex Morgan

Oct. 2013 — Stress reaction in talus bone

During the 2013 season Morgan suffered an injury that doctors misdiagnosed as a mildly sprained ankle. After a few additional tests were performed it turned out that Morgan had suffered a far more serious injury. She actually suffered a stress reaction in the talus bone that put her immediate future with Team USA in question. After rehabbing for 7 months Morgan was able to make a full recovery.

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Bralon Addison

April 2014 — Torn left ACL

After exceeding expectations as a freshman and sophomore at the University of Oregon Addison was expecting big things from his junior year. Unfortunately, Addison suffered a torn ACL during last year's spring practice that kept him sidelined the entire year. Without Addison in the lineup the receiving core never lived up to their full potential. If he had been able to play this season the National Championship may have wielded a different outcome.

Photo via Facebook (image cropped)
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Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Dec. 2014 — Torn ACL

In preparation for the first ever college football playoffs Ekpre-Olomu ended up tearing his ACL during a routine practice. This was a huge blow to the Ducks considering Ekpre-Olomu was one of the team's better defenders. He was also one of the best corners in the country who many analysists expected to be selected as high as the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
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Wesley Matthews

March 2015 — Torn left achilles

Just 2 months before Matthews suffered a torn achilles he had become the Trailblazers' all-time leader in 3-point field goals made. It looked as though the Trailblazers were poised to make a deep playoff run. Things took a drastic turn when Matthews was lost for the season. With the team in a 0-2 hole against the Memphis Grizzlies it doesn't look as though they will be making it to the second round of the playoffs this year.

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