portland winterhawks

Hawks slowly skate into season

Portland opens 2015-16 campaign with three losses
Oct. 4, 2015

After three straight losses to open the 2015-16 Western Hockey League season, it's hard to remember the last time the Portland Winterhawks didn't reach the playoffs much less reach the conference finals.

But, the season is only three games old.

After a 3-1 loss Friday, the Hawks are a full 0-3-0-0, 0 points in the US Division, but eight of the 10 teams in the conference qualify for the playoffs, so a long season of progress followed by a late-season run are the keys to a successful season.

And, Portland plays its next four games at home, either at Memorial Coliseum or the Rose Garden beginning Friday against Spokane.

Portland's run of WHL Finals appearances ended at four last season when the Hawks lost to Kelowna in the conference final. The team has reached the conference final for an unprecedented five straight years.

The last time the team missed the playoffs was in 2008-09 when the team won just 19 games - a year after winning just 11.



Hawks back to series deadlock

After a 3-2 loss, Portland heads back to Kelowna tied 2-2
April 29, 2015

PORTLAND - Despite a solid edge in shots, the Portland Winterhawks weren't able to find the back of the net enough and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Kelowna Rockets Wednesday night at the Moda Center.

The WHL Western Conference championship series heads back to British Columbia tied at 2-all. Game 5 is set for Friday at 7:05 p.m., with Game 6 in Portland Sunday at 5 p.m. If there is need for a Game 7, it will be played in Kelowna on Tuesday.

Portland got goals from Chase De Leo and Nicolas Petan, but its 42-28 edge in shots-on-goal didn't turn into the desired result in the tightly-played game. The teams combined for only 18 penalty minutes - just six on Portland - before the crowd of 8,629. Only one of the five goals was scored on a power play: Kelowna's eventual game-winner at 9:16 of the second period.

The Hawks had two power plays in the third period, including one for the final 56 seconds, which turned into a 6-on-4 advantage after the team pulled goaltender Adin Hill.

Kelowna goaltender Jackson Whistle was named the top star of the game for his 40 saves.


Hawks take West lead

Portland breaks out for 7-3 win, 2-1 series lead over Kelowna
April 28, 2015

PORTLAND - After basically struggling to score goals throughout the playoffs, the Portland Winterhawks showed off their form and pounded Kelowna 7-3 in the third game of their WHL Western Conference Championship Series Tuesday before a raucous crowd of 8,510 at the Moda Center.

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his 12th and 13th goals of the playoffs, and Adin Hill stopped 41 of 44 shots to lead the Hawks to a 2-1 series lead, with Game 4 set for Wednesday at the Moda Center.

Portland is looking for its fifth consecutive conference title.

Dominic Turgeon put the Winterhawks ahead 1-0 at the 12:50 mark of the first period and by the 3:13 mark of the second frame Portland had extended the lead to 3-0 on goals by Keoni Texeira and Chase De Leo. 

Leon Draisaitl stemmed the tide for Kelowna with a goal midway through the second, but the 'Hawks kept rolling and never relinquished the lead.

Portland stars Oliver Bjorkstrand and Nic Petan shone on the night as Bjorkstrand notched a four-point effort (2g-2a) while Petan collected three assists.

Adin Hill was named the game's first star. Portland went four-of-eight on the power play while Kelowna scored just one power-play goal.




Winterhawks rally to tie series

Portland pounds home eight goals, heads for Memorial Coliseum and Game 5
April 3, 2015 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

In one of the wildest playoff games this season, the Portland Winterhawks beat Seattle 8-5 to tie up their first-round series at 2-all Thursday at the ShoWare Center in Seattle.

Nic Petan scored a pair of goals and six other Portland players also scored to support Adin Hill in goal.

Hill gave up five goals, but only one in the first two periods on 22 shots as the Hawks built a 5-1 lead.

Chase De Leo scored just 54 seconds into the game to set the tone for Portland.

Game 5 is set for Saturday at Memorial Coliseum at 6 p.m.




April 2, 2015

Despite a 37-29 edge in shots on goal, the Portland Winterhawks dropped the third game of a best-of-seven series at Seattle Tuesday night in the WHL playoffs.

The Thunderbirds got two goals and an assist from defender Jerret Smith in front of 6,119 fans at the ShoWare Center. Smith scored both goals in the third period, including one into an empty net.

Portland, which finished second in the US Division - one spot above Seattle, got goals from Dominic Turgeon in the second period and Nic Petan in the third.

Game four is scheduled for tonight at 7:05 p.m. in Seattle with Game five Saturday in Portland at Memorial Coliseum starting at 6 p.m.

Portland finds itself in a rare position trailing in a series. The Hawks have reached the Western Conference championships the past four seasons, winning the title in 2012.





Hawks back to happy times

Portland rebounded from dismal start to again challenge for division title
Dec. 9, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

With all the success the Portland Winterhawks have had the past six seasons, it's hard to believe that at one point this season they were eight games under .500. That was after just 10 games.

The Hawks, who have played in the Western Hockey League final the past four seasons, lost their first six games and were just 1-9 before the season settled down as the experienced portion of the roster began to return from NHL training camps. Following the return and a brief settling-in period, the Hawks reverted to their same old selves and are back among the leaders of the US Division and Western Conference.

Nearing the mid-point of the 2014-15 season, Portland is in second place in the division at 17-13-0-3, 37 points, just behind Everett, which has 38 points.

Oliver Bjorkstrand, who had 109 points during the regular season last year, leads the team with 21 goals and 19 assists, while Chase De Leo is at 16 goals and 23 assists. Nicolas Petan has six goals and 27 assists.

While the team may have started poorly, its righted itself to a playoff level already. In four games against Kelowna, which leads the West with 51 points, the Hawks are 3-1.

Portland returns to action Friday at home against Spokane. The team plays at Seattle and Tri-Cities Saturday and Sunday.


Hawks open season with fresh look

With most of the key players drafted, Portland drops its opener 4-1
Sept. 29, 2014

PORTLAND - A new-look Portland Winterhawks hit the ice for the first time Friday night and got a baptism by fire against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Used to out-shooting opponents in virtually every game last season, the Hawks got outworked 37-25, including 14-4 in the decisive third period to highlight the loss before a crowd of 8,318 at the Moda Center.

Portland scored first, but then gave up four consecutive goals - three in the third period.

Not only were the Hawks showing off their roster of relatively untested talent, but new head coach Jamie Kompon, who took over the team in summer after Mike Johnston jumped to the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL.

Portland has eight players participating in NHL preseason camps, with several likely to be invited to play in minor leagues.

The Hawks return to action Saturday with a 7 p.m. game against Prince George at the Moda Center. The Cougars will be playing their season-opener.


Winterhawks get back to business of fun

Portland's annual Cam Neely Cup begins training camp Thursday
Aug. 18, 2014

PORTLAND - The 2014-15 hockey season will officially get underway for the Portland Winterhawks on Wednesday when over 80 players report to training camp. Players will undergo fitness testing that day, with on-ice sessions beginning at Winterhawks Skating Center Thursday.

Fans will be able to enjoy the annual intrasquad Neely Cup Tournament from Aug. 21 – 24 at Winterhawks Skating Center. After the Hawks had four American-born players taken in this year’s NHL Draft (Dominic Turgeon, Alex Schoenborn, Keegan Iverson and Chase De Leo), the four teams in the Neely Cup will be named after American-born Winterhawks alumni who went on to the NHL: Brandon Dubinsky, Paul Gaustad, Seth Jones and Michael Sauer.

As the popularity of the Neely Cup has grown with each year, the games will be ticketed this year in order to ensure the organization is in compliance with fire codes. There will be 100 four-day passes available for $20 that will allow access to all games, and 50 additional daily passes for $5 which will allow entry to both games on a particular day.

Preseason games begin for the team Aug. 29, while the 72-game regular season begins Sept. 19. Portland starts the season with five home games in its first six outings.


Fri Sep 19      Seattle    7 pm     
Sat Sep 20     Prince George    7:30 pm     
Fri Sep 26      at Vancouver    7:30 pm    
Sat Sep 27     Everett    7 pm     
Sun Sep 28    Everett    5 pm     
Fri Oct 03       Seattle    7 pm     
Sat Oct 04      at Everett    7:05 pm     
Mon Oct 06     at Victoria    7:05 pm     
Fri Oct 10        at Everett    7:35 pm     
Sat Oct 11      Seattle    7 pm     
Fri Oct 17       at Moose Jaw    6 pm     
Sat Oct 18      at Brandon    5:30 pm     
Tue Oct 21      at Regina    6 pm     
Wed Oct 22     at Swift Current    6 pm     
Fri Oct 24        at Prince Albert    6 pm     
Sat Oct 25       at Saskatoon    6:05 pm     
Thu Oct 30       Kelowna    7 pm     
Sat Nov 01       Kelowna    7 pm     
Sun Nov 02      Edmonton    5 pm     
Fri Nov 07        Red Deer    7 pm     
Sat Nov 08       Kamloops    7 pm     
Fri Nov 14        at Everett    7:35 pm     
Sun Nov 16       Everett    5 pm     
Wed Nov 19      at Kamloops    7 pm     
Fri Nov 21        at Kelowna    7:05 pm     
Sat Nov 22       at Kelowna    7:05 pm     
Tue Nov 25       Victoria    7 pm     
Fri Nov 28        Kootenay    3 pm     
Sat Nov 29       at Tri-City    7:05 pm     
Tue Dec 02       at Victoria    7:05 pm     
Fri Dec 05        at Vancouver    7:30 pm     
Sat Dec 06       Everett    7 pm     
Sun Dec 07      Medicine Hat    7 pm     
Sat Dec 13       at Seattle    7:05 pm     
Sun Dec 14      at Tri-City    5:05 pm     
Sat Dec 27       at Seattle    7:05 pm     
Sun Dec 28      Spokane    5 pm     
Wed Dec 31      Seattle    8 pm     
Sat Jan 03        Tri-City    7 pm     
Sun Jan 04       Seattle    5 pm     
Wed Jan 07      at Spokane    7:05 pm     
Fri Jan 09         at Spokane    7:05 pm     
Sat Jan 10        Vancouver    7 pm     
Wed Jan 14      at Kamloops    7 pm     
Fri Jan 16        at Prince George    7 pm     
Sat Jan 17       at Prince George    7 pm     
Fri Jan 23        Spokane    7 pm     
Sat Jan 24       at Seattle    7:05 pm     
Sun Jan 25      Tri-City    5 pm     
Wed Jan 28      Victoria    7 pm     
Fri Jan 30        Kamloops    7 pm     
Sat Jan 31       Everett    7 pm     
Fri Feb 06        at Seattle    7:35 pm     
Sun Feb 08      at Everett    4:05 pm     
Fri Feb 13        Tri-City    7 pm     
Tue Feb 17       at Tri-City    7:05 pm     
Fri Feb 20        Vancouver    7 pm     
Sat Feb 21       Lethbridge    7 pm     
Tue Feb 24       at Tri-City    7:05 pm     
Wed Feb 25      Calgary    7 pm     
Sat Feb 28        at Seattle    7:05 pm     
Fri Mar 06         Seattle    7 pm     
Sat Mar 07        Tri-City    7 pm     
Wed Mar 11      at Everett    7:05 pm     
Fri Mar 13        at Spokane    7:05 pm     
Sat Mar 14       Prince George    7 pm     
Sun Mar 15       Spokane    5 pm     
Wed Mar 18      at Spokane    7:05 pm     
Fri Mar 20         at Tri-City    7:05 pm     
Sat Mar 21        at Seattle    7:05 pm     
Sun Mar 22       Tri-City    5 pm


Rose City welcomes the world

The World Cup is dominating the sports world, and it'll soon head to Portland
July 14, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

The US workforce might have slowed to a crawl Thursday morning thanks to the World Cup and the game between the Team USA and Germany, but is that going to have any long-term effect on the US view of soccer? That's a key topic of debate during the 13th episode of Sportsland, Oregon, recorded at Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland.

Hosts Cliff Pfenning and Derek Weber talk up the World Cup's highlights and how it might help grow the sport in the states, especially the value of Major League Soccer playing its All-Star Game in Portland with the league's top players facing a top European club, Bayern Munich.

Then, it's off to the NBA Draft and if anyone really cares about it anymore since most of the top players were in high school basically two years ago. What's the value to the NBA and its fanbase if so many of the incoming top players are ... relatively unknown to much of the general sports fanbase.

The Dodgers get some time as do the Portland Winterhawks and their recent loss of coach Mike Johnston - to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The episode wraps up with the weekend review of the RFA Cup, with Derek talking up the key points toward the final match.

It's all recorded Monday at Blitz Pearl.



Hawks have work to do

Portland gets ready for another championship run with new leaders
June 29, 2014

At the close of a historic four-season run, the Portland Winterhawks' coaching staff finally caught the attention of the NHL last week, and head coach Mike Johnston got promoted - to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Johnston, who took over the Hawks as coach and general manager when ownership changed in 2008, led the team to the WHL Finals the past four seasons. He had previously been an assistant with the Los Angeles Kings for two seasons, and was an associate coach with the Vancouver Canucks from 1999-2006.

Internationally, he coached Canada in the 2009 World Under-18 Hockey Championships in 2009 and was an assistant for Canada in the World Championships in 2007, when Canada went 9-0 en route to the gold medal. He was an assistant for Canada at the 1998 Olympics.

He's joining an organization that has massive expectations. The Penguins have reached the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, but bowing out in disappointing fashion in the playoffs that followed.

Despite winning a franchise-record 252 games in his five-plus seasons, Bylsma couldn't make the needed adjustments to replicate his initial playoff success. This past season, the Penguins saw a 3-1 second-round series lead disappear in a loss to the New York Rangers.

"My strengths are building a program, building a template, building an identity, so that the identity is very clearly understood by the staff (and) the players," Johnston told media at his initial press conference. "That's important in any line of work, that there is an identity that you can grab on to."

Portland announced its 72-game season schedule, which begins Sept. 19.

The team has not named a new head coach or general manager.



Hawks close in on West title

Portland overwhelms Kelowna for Game 4 victory
April 23, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

A hot stick and a hot glove carried the Portland Winterhawks past the Kelowna Rockets 5-1 Wednesday, and gave them a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his 15th playoff goal, and Corbin Boes stopped 31 of 32 shots for the Hawks, who won their third-straight game of the series before a Moda Center crowd of 9,744 fans.

Nicolas Petan scored a hat trick in the game for the Hawks, who had three power play goals and one with an empty net.

The series shifts to Kelowna, B.C., for Game 5 Friday, and would return to Portland Sunday if the Rockets produce a win Friday.

One victory and series win would give the Hawks their fourth-consecutive conference title and a spot in the WHL Finals. Only three other franchises have played in the league championship series four consecutive years: the Flin Flon Bombers in 1968-71, Edmonton Oil Kings from 1969-72, and New Westminster Bruins, who won titles in 1975-78.

Portland won its third league title last year and reached the Memorial Cup final.



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