Winterhawks

"Joey Heisman" leads Class of 2012 into HoF

Harrington, Davis, Fellers, Davis and '62 Beavs to be inducted to Oregon Sports Hall, Nov. 13
Oct. 10, 2012

University of Oregon standout Joey Harrington, who finished fourth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 2002 and thew for more than 14,000 yards in six NFL seasons, leads the Class of 2012 into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, Nov. 13, at the Multnomah Athletic Club.

Darrell "Mouse" Davis, who guided Portland State to national prominence in the 1970s as its head coach, equestrian great Rich Fellers, former University of Oregon athletic director Leo Davis and the 1962 Oregon State football team that reached the Cotton Bowl, will also be inducted as part of the 33rd annual class. 

Harrington, who graduated from Portland's Central Catholic High School, guided the Ducks to the 2002 Fiesta Bowl, then was selected No. 3 by the Detroit Lions in the NFL Draft, which included Drew Brees, Michael Vick and Tom Brady. Harrington played four seasons with the Lions, one season with the Miami Dolphins and one season with the Atlanta Falcons. This fall, he began as a college football analyst with FOX.

Davis played football at Oregon and guided Hillsboro High to the state title in 1973 while developing an offense that came to be known as the "Run and Shoot." At PSU, Davis coached both June Jones and Neil Lomax as the Vikings led the nation in scoring three times. He has been a head coach in numerous pro leagues, including the USFL, Arena Football League and World League of American Football, as well as an offensive coordinator in both the NFL and CFL.

Fellers has represented the U.S. at numerous international competitions during a career that has extended more than 40 years and has included prize winnings approaching $1 million.

Davis was a longtime sports columnist at The Oregonian.

The '62 Beavers featured Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker and won the Liberty Bowl.

Rattie finally breaks loose in 6-3 win

Portland's top scoring threat lights up for four goals as Hawks head for home
Oct. 13, 2012

Portland right wing Ty Rattie finally showed off the depth of his game with four goals as the Hawks beat Swift Current 6-3 in the final game of their swing through Manitoba and Saskatoon.

Rattie, who hadn't scored in the team's opening five games, took over the team lead in goals with seven as Portland finished its six-game trip at 4-1-1-0, and

The Hawks outshot the Broncos 33-31 to continue their string of having fired more shots on goal than their opponents in every game this season.

Portland head home with a 7-3-1-0 record and lead the U.S. Division heading into a week off before returning to action Saturday against Seattle at the Rose Garden to start a six-game homestand.

 

PORTLAND 5, PRINCE ALBERT 2

The Hawks ended the Raiders' seven-game unbeaten streak thanks to another standout game from Mac Carruth in goal.

Five different Hawks score, including Taylor Leier, who nets his first goal of the season.

 

PORTLAND 4, SASKATOON 0

Mac Carruth returned to goal and stopped all 26 shots headed his way to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 4-0 win at Saskatoon Wednesday night.

Presten Kopeck scored twice in the second period, when the Hawks scored all four goals on 17 shots.

Portland improved to 5-3-1-0, 11 points and continued its streak of having outshot their opposition in every game.

Carruth, last season's top goaltender, was in goal for the first time this season after being reassigned by the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on Saturday.

Portland has Thursday off before arriving in Prince Albert to play the Raiders, who've won seven straight and vaulted to No. 7 in the CHL Rankings this week, one spot ahead of Portland, which has been at No. 8 for three consecutive weeks.

 

REGINA 3, PORTLAND 2 (OT)

The host Pats scored 4:28 into overtime to win despite getting outshot 36-24, including 15-2 in the first period (game tied 1-1), and 5-1 in overtime. Ty Rattie scores his second goal of the season, but Brendan Burke suffers another loss in goal.

 

MOOSE JAW 4, PORTLAND 2

Ty Rattie scored his first goal of the season and Portland again outshot its opposition, but the Moose Jaw Warriors scrapped their way to a 4-2 win over the Winterhawks in Western Hockey League action Saturday night.

Rattie, the team's leading scorer last season, hadn't scored in the team's opening six games, but finally found the back of the net late in the third period, after having an assist earlier in the period.

The Hawks finished with a 34-33 edge in shots on goal, continuing a season-long trend. Portland has finished each game with an edge in shots.

Brendan Burke made 29 saves, but suffered his third loss of the season.

Portland (4-3-0-0, 8 points) has the next two days off before visiting Regina in the third game of its six-game tour of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

 

PORTLAND 2, BRANDON 1

or a team that has yet to uncork its leading scorer, the Portland Winterhawks are having a pretty good season.

The Hawks began their stretch of six games in nine days with a 2-1 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings in Manitoba.

Derrick Pouliot scored a goal and Cam Lanigan stopped 18 of 19 shots sent his way to notch his third win of the season.

Alex Schoenborn scored his first goal for the Hawks, who improved to 4-2 on the season heading to a game at Moose Jaw, in Saskatchewan.

The Hawks get days off on Sunday, Monday and Thursday and finish at Swift Current before getting a week off. They play their following six games in Portland.

Ty Rattie, the team's leading scorer last season, remained without a goal in his fifth outing with the team. Rattie has just one assist, making the team's results more impressive.

 

KELOWNA 4, PORTLAND 3

It happened again to the Portland Winterhawks.

Despite holding a 46-24 edge in shots on goal, the Hawks fell to the Kelowna Rockets 4-3 at the Rose Garden Saturday.

Kelowna scored twice on just nine shots in the first period and handed Portland its second home loss of the season.

Portland finished the weekend at 3-2 overall, with both losses at home and with Bredan Burke in goal.

The Hawks head to Canada for their Eastern WHL swing beginning in Brandon, Manitoba Friday night.

 

PORTLAND 1, KELOWNA 1

Derrick Pouliot scored at the 9:50 mark of the third period to give the Portland Winterhawks a shaky 1-0 win over Kelowna Friday at the Rose Garden.

Goalie Cam Lanigan made 31 saves as Portland outshot the visitors 35-31.

The teams meet again Saturday night.

 

HAWKS LOOK FOR HOME WIN

The Portland Winterhawks will be looking for their first home win of the season when they lace up Friday against the Kelowna Rockets.

That's not such a big deal seasonwise as the team has played just one home game.

Portland dropped its season opener to Seattle last week, 5-2, before beating Seattle and then Tri-City on the road to finish the opening weekend at 2-1.

The Hawks pummeled opposing goalkeepers with shots, including 30 in the opening period of the season, and remained in the CHL's Top 10 rankings this week. Portland is No. 6, a drop of two spots from their opening position. The Hawks, though, are the lone team in the Top 10 with a loss.

Edmonton, No. 2, Kamloops, No. 8, and Calgary, No. 10, are also ranked in the Top 10.

Portland will face the Rockets (0-1-1-0, 1 point) with fifth-year veteran Ty Rattie looking to score his first point of the season. Rattie, who led the team with 121 points last season, went scoreless in two games during the weekend.

Nicolas Petan, who had 14 goals last season, scored four times during the weekend and was the league Player of the Week with eight points.

Portland plays host to Kelowna Saturday night as well. Both games are at the Rose Garden.

"Dirty Harry" Brad Harrison reflects on career

HAWKEYTOWN In the premiere episode, the former Winter Hawk talks hockey
Sept. 24, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

It's been 20 years since Brad Harrison skated at Memorial Coliseum wearing the red, white and black of the Portland Winterhawks - 21 to be exact, but his memories of those days are still very fresh.

Harrison, who earned the nickname "Ditry Harry" because of his play as a center, talked at length about his three-year career in the Western Hockey League, including two seasons in Portland, and five years in professional hockey in the Eastern and Southwestern U.S.

Harrison also played in a professional roller hockey league.

In this episode, Harrison talks about having been traded twice within his three WHL seasons, and becoming a team leader in Portland to the degree he once threatened to quit on behalf of teammates in response to fines being handed out for team violations.

Harrison's days in Portland were between the franchise glory years - they missed the playoffs both seasons, but the team still attracted plenty of fans in the days before the Rose Garden. Among the players who suited up for those teams were goaltender Byron Dafoe, who had a lengthy NHL career, and Steve Konawalchuk, who played all or parts of 14 seasons in the NHL and is now the head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.

After his playing days in the East, Harrison returned to Portland to raise a son.

 

BRAD HARRISON

1988-89  Moose Jaw Warriors, 31 games

1988-89  Prince Albert Raiders, 33 games

1989-90  Prince Albert Raiders, 5 games

1989-90  Portland Winter Hawks, 42 games

1990-91  Portland Winter Hawks, 66 games

1993-94  Huntingon, W.V., Blizzard (ECHL), 67 games

1994-95  Erie, Pa., Panthers (ECHL), 34 games

1995-96  Erie Panthers, 66 games

1996-97  Amarillo, Texas, Rattlers (WPHL), 15 games

1996-97  New Mexico Scorpions (WPHL), 18 games

1997-98  Reno, Nev., Rage (WCHL), 39 games

 

Winterhawks rally from opening loss

Petan nets four goals in three weekend games, earns WHL award
Sept. 24, 2012

After a somewhat stunning loss in their season opener, the Portland  Winterhawks won games Saturday and Sunday and showed the form that led them to the Western Hockey League's Western Conference title the past two seasons.

Nicolas Petan, who played in the shadow of the team's cadre of offensive weapons last season, scored four goals and had four assists to lead the Hawks, who lost Friday to Seattle, then beat the Thunderbirds on the road Saturday and won at Tri-City Sunday.

Petan's efforts were rewarded by the league, which named him the Denny's Player of the Week for the WHL.

In the first preseason poll, the Hawks were rated No. 4 in the entire Canadian Hockey League, and opened the season with a 30-2 edge in shots on goal against Seattle Friday - but did not score on the way to a 5-2 loss. Saturday, they beat

Petan had 14 goals and 21 assists last season for 35 points and did not score in any of the 22 playoff games he appeared in.

Defender Troy Rutkowski had six assists on the weekend and Oliver Bjorkstrand had three goals and two assists.

Portland standouts Derrick Pouliot and Ty Rattie, both of whom were among the top scorers in the playoffs last season, combined for just two points - a goal and an assist by Pouliot.

The Hawks return to action Friday and Saturday with home games against Kelowna, B.C., at the Rose Garden.

PORTLAND 4, TRI-CITY 2

The Hawks outshot the Americans 36-26 and got goalkeeper Brendan Burke his first win of the season. Petan and Chase De Leo scored twice each and Rutkowski had three assists.

PORTLAND 6, SEATTLE 2

Portland outshot the Thunderbirds 44-25 and wore the host squad out with three goals in the third period to secure the first win of the season Saturday. Goaltender Cam Lanigan made 23 saves. Bjorkstrand scored twice. Portland rookie Joe Mahon took over the team's enforcer role with penalties for fighting in the first and third period. Petan also got a penalty for fighting. Portland's three goals in the third period were on just seven shots.

SEATTLE 5, PORTLAND 2

The Portland Winterhawks opened the season with a promising performance offensively - in terms of shots, but could only get two of 57 shots on goal past Seattle's Brandon Glover and lost 5-2 in the WHL season opener for both teams Friday at the Rose Garden.

Seattle, which finished last in the U.S. Division last season, scored four goals in the second period to take command of the game despite being outshot better than 2-to-1. Portland outshot the T-Birds 30-2 in the first period, but couldn't score.

The Hawks gave up a goal in the opening 18 seconds of the third period, but rallied with goals by Oliver Bjorkstrand and Nicolas Petan for the final score. Petan also had an assist. Troy Rutkowski had an assist on both goals in front of the crowd of 8,174.

Portland finished 0-5 on power plays, while Seattle was 2-of-4.

The Winterhawks get a chance to avenge the loss Saturday in Seattle, then visit Tri-City to play the Americans.

 

Time for Hawks to get busy again

Portland sits at No. 4 in CHL entering season opener at home
Sept. 21, 2012

The road to anther shot at the Western Hockey League championship begins tonight for the Portland Winterhawks at the Rose Garden.

After trips to the WHL Finals the past two years, and losses in each series, the Winterhawks open their 72-game regular season against the Seattle Thunderbirds, followed by road games Saturday and Sunday.

Portland returns scoring machine Ty Rattie, as well as offensive dynamos Brendan Leipsic and Taylor Leier to a line-up that led the league in scoring last season. The Hawks graduated key scorers Sven Bartschi and Brad Ross to the NHL, but have Derrick Pouliot ready for a breakout season having been selected eighth overall in the NHL Entry Draft in spring.

Among the team's players to watch is Seth Jones, son of former NBA player Popeye Jones.

The Winterhawks begin the season at No. 4 in the BMO CHL Mastercard Top 10 Rankings - the highest rated team from the WHL.

Portland finished last season at No. 4 in the overall Canadian Hockey League rankings, missing the Memorial Cup by just one win - a Game 7 loss at No. 7 Edmonton. Edmonton opens this season at No. 2.

 

 

Youthful roster makes strides in preseason

Defending Western Conference champs will feature many fresh faces
Sept. 6, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

The core group of players who turned the Portland Winterhawks in the most dominant team in the Western Hockey League's Western Conference the past three seasons, has retreated to just a few players leaving a fresh group to continue the franchise's legacy in the upcoming season.

So far, the Hawks are making that happen.

Portland won two of its first three preseason games and is flashing a solid defensive unit led by Derrick Pouliot, the No. 8 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. In three games, the Hawks have outscored opponents 9-6, with five different goaltenders getting opportunities to flash their talents.

Jarrod Schamerhorn has the most solid outing, recording 18 saves on 18 shots during 30 minutes of a 4-1 win over Tri-City Saturday.

The Winterhawks, who've played for the WHL title the past two series, open their regular season Sept. 21 at the Rose Garden.

 

HAWKS AIM FOR NEXT STEP IN 2012/13

Maybe this will be the year for the Portland Winterhawks.

The Winterhawks will begin the 2012-13 season having reached the Western Hockey League finals the past two seasons and playing their way into the Memorial Cup with one series win.

Both seasons, the Eastern Conference champion bested the Hawks, who reached the Western Conference final in 2010 before winning that series the next two seasons.

Portland lost to Edmonton in the seventh game of the best-of-seven series last season.

The Hawks finished the regular season with 49 wins just three seasons after netting just 19 wins, which came after an 11-win season.

Portland's resurgence has included a flurry of first-round selections by National Hockey League teams, including defenseman Derrick Pouliot, taken eighth overall by Pittsburgh earlier this year.

NHL teams have selected five Hawks in the first round the past three seasons.

Portland begins its preseason schedule Aug. 31, against Seattle.

 

 

Hawks run dry for second straight year

Edmonton wins the Ed Chenowyth Cup with Game 7 victory
May 13, 2012

Another stirring run to the Memorial Cup came to an end for the Portland Winterhawks Sunday night amidst a flurry of efficient shots by the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Edmonton scored four goals on 32 shots and beat the Hawks 4-1 in the decisive game of the Western Hockey League championship series before a crowd of 12,514 in Edmonton, Alb.

The win sends the Oil Kings to the Memorial Cup. the annual end to the Canadian Hockey League season, while the Hawks head home after reaching the WHL Finals for the second straight year.

Portland lost to Kootenay in five games in the WHL Finals last season.

 

PORTLAND'S TRIP TO MEMORIAL CUP RUNS THROUGH EDMONTON

Portland's first trip to the Memorial Cup outside of the Northwest is just four wins away, at least one of which must be in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference champion Edmonton Oil Kings have the home ice advantage for the league championship series, which begins Thursday in Edmonton.

Portland won the Western Conference title for the second year in a row, and will be aiming for its fourth WHL title, the other ones coming in 1979, 1982 and 1998. The Hawks have played in the WHL Finals eight times.

The Winterhawks have twice won the Memorial Cup, one in Portland and one in Spokane, Wash. Portland won at the Memorial Coliseum in 1983, the first year the Cup included a home team along with the three Canadian Hockey League champions, and again in 1998.

Portland also played host to the 1986 Memorial Cup when New Westminster of the WHL withdrew at the last minute.

The Memorial Cup features the champions of Canada's minor leagues and has been played since 1919. Since 1983, it's featured the champions of the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and a host team, which rotates between the three leagues.

This year, it'll be held in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Cataractes of the QMJHL.

The WHL Finals schedule features games in Edmonton Thursday and Friday, with games in Portland Sunday and next Tuesday. If needed, the series will be return to Edmonton, May 12.

Portland lost last year's finals to Kootenay, Alberta, 4-1.

The Winterhawks are 12-3 in playoff games this season, having swept their first-round series with Kelowna and the conference finals against Tri-City.

 

WINTERHAWKS FINALS HISTORY

1979 Beat Brandon 4-2

1982 Beat Regina 4-1

1987 Lost to Medicine Hat 4-0

1989 Lost to Swift Current 4-0

1993 Lost to Swift Current 4-3

1998 Beat Brandon 4-0

2001 Lost to Red Deer 4-1

2011 Lost to Kootenay 4-1

 

MEMORIAL CUP HISTORY

1983 Won Memorial Cup at Memorial Coliseum as host team

1986 Played in Memorial Cup as host team

1998 Won Memorial Cup in Spokane, Wash.

Hawks get pushed to must-win Game 6

Edmonton's late goal earns a 4-3 win and 3-2 series edge
May 10, 2012

A last-minute score Thursday night moved the Portland Winterhawks to within a loss of ending their season.

The Edmonton Oil Kings got a goal from defenseman Mark Pysyk with just 56 seconds remaining to earn a 4-3 win over the Portland Winterhawks in pivotal Game 5 of the Western Hockey League championship series in Edmonton, Alb.

Pysyk, who scored only his third playoff goal, caught an errant pass and skated around a Portland defender before beating Hawks 'keeper Mac Carruth from 25 feet.

Game 6 is in Portland Saturday.

Ty Rattie scored his 19th goal of the playoffs, while Sven Bartschi added a goal and an assist for the Hawks.

Game 6 is sold out.

 

PORTLAND'S TRIP TO MEMORIAL CUP RUNS THROUGH EDMONTON

Portland's first trip to the Memorial Cup outside of the Northwest is just four wins away, at least one of which must be in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference champion Edmonton Oil Kings have the home ice advantage for the league championship series, which begins Thursday in Edmonton.

Portland won the Western Conference title for the second year in a row, and will be aiming for its fourth WHL title, the other ones coming in 1979, 1982 and 1998. The Hawks have played in the WHL Finals eight times.

The Winterhawks have twice won the Memorial Cup, one in Portland and one in Spokane, Wash. Portland won at the Memorial Coliseum in 1983, the first year the Cup included a home team along with the three Canadian Hockey League champions, and again in 1998.

Portland also played host to the 1986 Memorial Cup when New Westminster of the WHL withdrew at the last minute.

The Memorial Cup features the champions of Canada's minor leagues and has been played since 1919. Since 1983, it's featured the champions of the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and a host team, which rotates between the three leagues.

This year, it'll be held in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Cataractes of the QMJHL.

The WHL Finals schedule features games in Edmonton Thursday and Friday, with games in Portland Sunday and next Tuesday. If needed, the series will be return to Edmonton, May 12.

Portland lost last year's finals to Kootenay, Alberta, 4-1.

The Winterhawks are 12-3 in playoff games this season, having swept their first-round series with Kelowna and the conference finals against Tri-City.

 

WINTERHAWKS FINALS HISTORY

1979 Beat Brandon 4-2

1982 Beat Regina 4-1

1987 Lost to Medicine Hat 4-0

1989 Lost to Swift Current 4-0

1993 Lost to Swift Current 4-3

1998 Beat Brandon 4-0

2001 Lost to Red Deer 4-1

2011 Lost to Kootenay 4-1

 

MEMORIAL CUP HISTORY

1983 Won Memorial Cup at Memorial Coliseum as host team

1986 Played in Memorial Cup as host team

1998 Won Memorial Cup in Spokane, Wash.

Edmonton rallies to restore home-ice edge

A 4-3 overtime win sends Hawks on the road tied 2-2 in seven-game series
May 8, 2012

The Portland Winterhawks headed back to Edmonton, Alb., Wednesday needing two wins in the next three games to win the Western Hockey League title after the Oil Kings scored a 4-3 win in overtime Tuesday night at the Rose Garden.

Rhett Rachinski scored his second goal of the game 9:07 into overtime to tie the series at 2-all.

The teams play Game 5 in Edmonton Thursday before returning to Portland for Game 6 Saturday. If they split those games, Game 7 will be in Edmonton Sunday night.

Edmnonton is 8-1 on its home ice in the playoffs, its lone loss coming Friday to Portland.

The series winner advances to the Memorial Cup, the annual end to the Canadian Hockey League season.

Portland's Sven Bartschi scored two goals in the third period to tie the game, which Edmonton led 3-1 with 20 minutes remaining. Both teams fired off 42 shots on goal, but also played gingerly as they avoided any penalties for the entire third period.

Bartschi's goals were No. 12 and 13 of the playoffs and made him the scoring leader for the league in playoff action.

Marcel Noebels scored his seventh goal for the Hawks just 1:21 into the game, igniting the sold-out crowd of 10,947.

Three of the four games in the series have been decided by just one goal.

 

PORTLAND'S TRIP TO MEMORIAL CUP RUNS THROUGH EDMONTON

Portland's first trip to the Memorial Cup outside of the Northwest is just four wins away, at least one of which must be in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference champion Edmonton Oil Kings have the home ice advantage for the league championship series, which begins Thursday in Edmonton.

Portland won the Western Conference title for the second year in a row, and will be aiming for its fourth WHL title, the other ones coming in 1979, 1982 and 1998. The Hawks have played in the WHL Finals eight times.

The Winterhawks have twice won the Memorial Cup, one in Portland and one in Spokane, Wash. Portland won at the Memorial Coliseum in 1983, the first year the Cup included a home team along with the three Canadian Hockey League champions, and again in 1998.

Portland also played host to the 1986 Memorial Cup when New Westminster of the WHL withdrew at the last minute.

The Memorial Cup features the champions of Canada's minor leagues and has been played since 1919. Since 1983, it's featured the champions of the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and a host team, which rotates between the three leagues.

This year, it'll be held in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Cataractes of the QMJHL.

The WHL Finals schedule features games in Edmonton Thursday and Friday, with games in Portland Sunday and next Tuesday. If needed, the series will be return to Edmonton, May 12.

Portland lost last year's finals to Kootenay, Alberta, 4-1.

The Winterhawks are 12-3 in playoff games this season, having swept their first-round series with Kelowna and the conference finals against Tri-City.

 

WINTERHAWKS FINALS HISTORY

1979 Beat Brandon 4-2

1982 Beat Regina 4-1

1987 Lost to Medicine Hat 4-0

1989 Lost to Swift Current 4-0

1993 Lost to Swift Current 4-3

1998 Beat Brandon 4-0

2001 Lost to Red Deer 4-1

2011 Lost to Kootenay 4-1

 

MEMORIAL CUP HISTORY

1983 Won Memorial Cup at Memorial Coliseum as host team

1986 Played in Memorial Cup as host team

1998 Won Memorial Cup in Spokane, Wash.

Hawks take series edge with 4-3 win

Second-period outbust moves Portland to 2-1 lead
May 6, 2012

Ty Rattie returned with a goal and three teammates scored as the Portland Winterhawks beat Edmonton 4-3 Sunday night and moved a step closer to a spot in the Memorial Cup.

Rattie, who sat out Game 2 due to injury, scored his 18th goal of the playoffs on a power play at 12:06 of the second period to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead, linemate Sven Bartschi having scored earlier in the period.

After a brawl gave the Hawks another power play, they scored 29 seconds later for a 3-0 edge.

Brendan Leipsic scored early in the third peiriod for a 4-1 lead and Mac Carruth made 21 saves in the period to preserve the win.

The teams play again Tuesday night at the Rose Garden before the series returns to Edmonton Thursday for Game 5.

GAME SUMMARY

http://www.whl.ca/schedule/show/game/61692

 

PORTLAND'S TRIP TO MEMORIAL CUP RUNS THROUGH EDMONTON

Portland's first trip to the Memorial Cup outside of the Northwest is just four wins away, at least one of which must be in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference champion Edmonton Oil Kings have the home ice advantage for the league championship series, which begins Thursday in Edmonton.

Portland won the Western Conference title for the second year in a row, and will be aiming for its fourth WHL title, the other ones coming in 1979, 1982 and 1998. The Hawks have played in the WHL Finals eight times.

The Winterhawks have twice won the Memorial Cup, one in Portland and one in Spokane, Wash. Portland won at the Memorial Coliseum in 1983, the first year the Cup included a home team along with the three Canadian Hockey League champions, and again in 1998.

Portland also played host to the 1986 Memorial Cup when New Westminster of the WHL withdrew at the last minute.

The Memorial Cup features the champions of Canada's minor leagues and has been played since 1919. Since 1983, it's featured the champions of the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and a host team, which rotates between the three leagues.

This year, it'll be held in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Cataractes of the QMJHL.

The WHL Finals schedule features games in Edmonton Thursday and Friday, with games in Portland Sunday and next Tuesday. If needed, the series will be return to Edmonton, May 12.

Portland lost last year's finals to Kootenay, Alberta, 4-1.

The Winterhawks are 12-3 in playoff games this season, having swept their first-round series with Kelowna and the conference finals against Tri-City.

 

WINTERHAWKS FINALS HISTORY

1979 Beat Brandon 4-2

1982 Beat Regina 4-1

1987 Lost to Medicine Hat 4-0

1989 Lost to Swift Current 4-0

1993 Lost to Swift Current 4-3

1998 Beat Brandon 4-0

2001 Lost to Red Deer 4-1

2011 Lost to Kootenay 4-1

 

MEMORIAL CUP HISTORY

1983 Won Memorial Cup at Memorial Coliseum as host team

1986 Played in Memorial Cup as host team

1998 Won Memorial Cup in Spokane, Wash.

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