Hawks start playoff drive with Game 1 win

Rattie scores three times in 6-3 win over Kelowna
March 23, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Game 1 of the Western Hockey League playoffs reminded the Portland Winterhawks of how difficult the second season can be, especially against a determined opponent like Kelowna.

At least the first half did.

Kelowna led 1-0 midway through the second period when the Hawks finally broke through and went on to post a 6-3 win over the Rockets in their best-of-seven, first-round series Friday before a crowd of 6,243 at Memorial Coliseum.

Ty Rattie scored three times and Joe Morrow scored the go-ahead goal with 1.8 seconds left in the second period as home teams went 7-1 in the WHL first round Friday.

Portland, which reached the league final last season, plays host to the Rockets Saturday at 7 p.m. in Game 2 before the series heads to British Columbia,

The Hawks improved to 5-0 against the Rockets and notched their first goal of the playoffs.

"We've got a calender with spaces for 16 pucks for each win we need to get to the Memorial Cup," Rattie said. "We put our first puck in there tonight."

Portland sent a wave of shots on goal at Kelowna netminder Adam Brown - 55 total, while allowing just 29 at Mac Carruth. Brown made a valiant effort with 49 saves, but the deeper, more experienced Portland line-up took over in mid-game. The go-ahead goal came after Kelowna's defense failed to clear the puck past the Blue Line and Morrow snagged it just in front and fired it past Brown with under two seconds left in the period for a 3-2 lead.

Rattie, who scored the team's first two goals off assists by Sven Bartschi, closed out the Hat Trick with 2:29 left in the game.

The Hawks and Rockets met in the playoffs last season, when both teams won their division. Portland claimed the series 4-2 with the visiting team winning four of the games, including Kelowna's win over the Hawks in Game 1 when Brown saved 45 of 46 shots.

"We have a lot of respect for their team from last year and games this season," Hawks coach Mike Johnston said. "We're not taking them lightly at all."

Portland finished the regular season with the third best record in the league, 49-19-3-1, 102 points, while the Rockets were 31-31-4-6, 72 points.

The Hawks won 13 playoff games last season, losing to Kootenay 4-1 in the WHL Championship series.



History doesn't need video to make a story come alive

Fri, 11/04/2011 - 3:25pm
Cliff Pfenning
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I love sports history, and one of the best nights of the year for me is the annual Oregon Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

I’m a tremendous fan of Wikipedia and YouTube as resources for discovering historic events, but there’s nothing like hearing a story directly from someone to make it come alive in your memory.

What makes the night more special is they get to hear my side, too: like Oregon’s game at Cal in 1993.

At this year’s event, I ran across longtime Oregon football assistant coach Joe Schaffeld and directed our conversation to that game. What happened? Do you remember that game?

“Nope,” he said plainly. “When you’ve been part of the game for so long, and coached so many games, they just run into one another. I don’t remember that one.”

So, I told him about it. Oregon, a year after playing Wake Forest in the Independence Bowl, was 3-0 having just beaten Illinois on the road. At Cal, a week before a home game with USC, The Ducks were destroying the Bears 30-0. Watching the game at sun-baked Memorial Stadium, the score was so lopsided that a crotchety alumnus, watching the game by himself (and with no shirt) had gotten me to agree to do something stupid, like streak across the field. When the score got past 40-0, I was going to disrobe and show off my physique to those in attendance, during a timeout, of course.
Almost immediately, Cal scored.

Then Cal scored again, and again. At the close of the game, the Bears converted third down after third down and won 42-41. Biggest comeback in Pac-10 history. At least, that’s how my memory has it. On the way to our car, my group of alums - in school colors - had to walk through Frat Row. We got hazed, mercilessly.

Pounding the Bears and headed for 4-0, the Ducks collapsed, lost the game and finished at 5-6. Ouch.

The game is what makes the Kenny Wheaton interception even more memorable, because the end of the Washington-Oregon game in ‘94 was playing out just like the Cal game - the Huskies converting third down after third down.

That was my brief story for Joe - the kind of story you might tell someone in a sports bar. Later, it hit me that it’s pretty easy to lose a game, even one like that, to your memory when you’ve been a part of so many games as a player and coach. I’ve probably been at 200 games as a fan and reporter, and I can’t remember half of them. Joe, as a player and coach, has probably been at 400 games in person, but seen all or parts of 10,000 as a recruiter.

The Kenny Wheaton game is hard to lose to your memory because of the tangible evidence - the video of the interception and return for a score.
Imagine if the score of the game at Cal had gotten to something like 41-0? Even if the Bears had still won 42-41, what might make the game memorable is the video on YouTube of a fan streaking across the field (probably with Ray Stevens music in the background).

“Remember that game? The one with the streaker and the big lead that Oregon lost?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“What do you suppose put that guy in the mood to tear off his clothes and reveal his six-pack abs and one percent body fat to the world?”

Were the video available, it would be on the Web, which competes directly with the need for a physical Hall of Fame. That’s the tremendous challenge with raising funds to have a museum - for every museum, too. When it can come to you via a computer, why do you need to go to it in person?

This is what makes the induction ceremony so enjoyable - getting to meet the people who made and make things happen.

Toward the end of this year’s dinner, I met Portland restaurateur Steve Stanich and we chatted about hamburgers and the jukebox at Stanich’s. It’s from 1949, and still plays records.

Remember jukeboxes? Vinyl records? Ray Stevens? There’s a story behind all of them.

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