Winterhawks get back to action - sort of

Kishaun Gervais reps for team in NHL21 tournament
By Cliff Pfenning,

The Portland Winterhawks don't know if or when they'll be playing next on the ice, but they know one of them will be duking it out with the rest of North America for hockey supremacy in the Memorial eCup shortly.

All 60 junior hockey teams in Canada and the U.S. will be represented in a 64-team tournament using NHL21 to determine a winner. Portland is represented by Kishaun Gervais.

Gervais is in his second year with the team as a 5-foot-8 winger from Kamsack, Saskatoon. He had eight goals and nine assists in 31 games last season.

Portland led the WHL in wins and points when the season was abruptly halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020-21 season is set to begin Jan. 8, with all the Canadian teams playing amongst themselves and the five teams in the U.S. Division playing amongst themselves. But, none of the U.S. teams have announced a schedule, or whether they will actually play this upcoming season due to not having the ability for fans to attend.

The Hawks are also in the unique situation of still looking for an owner after previous owner, Canadian Bill Gallacher, put the team into bankruptcy and for sale once the pandemic arrived.



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


Winterhawks schedule

April 7, 2015




28    Seattle 4, PORTLAND 3

29    PORTLAND 3, Seattle 0

31    SEATTLE 5, Portland 2

2      Portland 8, SEATTLE 5

4      PORTLAND 5, Seattle 3

7      Portland 5, SEATTLE 4 (OT)




10    Portland at Everett, 7:05 pm

11    Portland at Everett, 7:05 pm

16    Everett at Portland, 7 pm, Memorial Coliseum

17    Everett at Portland, 7 pm, Memorial Coliseum

19    Portland at Everett, TBD - if needed

21    Everett at Portland, TBD - if needed

22    Portland at Everett, TBD - if needed





Def. Seattle 4-2

Vs. Everett


Def. Vancouver 4-0

Def. Victoria 4-1

Def. Kelowna 4-1

Lost to Edmonton 4-3


Def. Everett 4-2

Def. Spokane 4-0

Def. Kamloops 4-1

Def. Edmonton 4-2 (WHL Champions)


Def. Kelowna 4-0

Def. Kamloops 4-3

Def. Tri-City 4-0

Lost to Edmonton 4-3


Def. Everett 4-0

Def. Kelowna 4-2

Def. Spokane 4-2

Lost to Kootenay 4-1


Def. Spokane 4-3

Lost to Vancouver 4-2


Jones prospering in NHL

Hawks defenseman for a season is getting plenty of playing time in Nashville
Nov. 4, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

The Portland Winterhawks have had plenty of first round draft picks in the recent past, but none has gotten onto the ice in the National Hockey League as quickly as Seth Jones.

And, he's making an impact in just the first two months with the Nashville Predators.

Jones, who helped the Winterhawks win the Western Hockey League title last season - his only one in the Rose City, is playing more than 25 minutes per game for the Predators, who were 7-5-2 and in the middle of the Western Conference standings after 14 games.

Jones scored his first goal Oct. 12 in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders.

The Predadors selected Jones with the fourth pick in the 2013 draft, but even they have been surprised by his quick adjustment to the pro game.

Nashville's general manager, David Poile, told his hometown paper, The Gazette, he's been thoroughly impressed:

    "I don’t think any of us saw that coming.

    "You’d probably think you wean a player into your lineup, especially a younger player, in maybe the third pairing and the fifth or sixth amount of ice time. I mean, I thought that would probably be the normal way to do it.

    "But there’s nothing normal about this. We got the Roman Josi injury. He seemed to be the best fit to come up to play with Shea and they’ve played really well together. As you know, he’s playing his off side, which is not easy for anybody, and he seems to do really well on that."

Jones, the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, adjusted to the professional mentality even before the season began by saying he would make teams that passed on him - the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning in particular - "regret not taking me." The Florida Panthers also passed on him, leaving the Predators feeling fortunate, especially after his early play.

Last season, he finished with 14 goals and 42 assists in 61 games during the regular season. In the playoffs, he scored five times and had 10 assists.



Hawks head to break on record pace

Portland beats Spokane 4-3 for 25th win in last 27 games
Dec. 18, 2012

For a change, the Portland Winterhawks were outshot by more than a dozen shots in their game with Spokane Tuesday night. What didn't change is that they won 4-3 in front of a packed Veterans Memorial Arena crowd of 4,619 for a showdown of WHL U.S. Division rivals.

Nic Petan scored twice, Taylor Peters scored and Adam De Champlain hit the game-winner at the 10:40 mark of the third period to push the Hawks to 29-5-1-0, 59 points, as they head to nine days off for the holidays.

Portland was 4-4 at the start of the season, but has gone 25-1-1-0, since then, a run that has historians looking for records.

The Chiefs got goals from three players, but couldn't take advantage of a 40-26 edge in shots on goal, on the the fourth time this season the Hawks have been outshot. The Chiefs remain in second in the division at 23-10-1-0, 47 points.

Mac Carruth made 37 saves in the win.

Portland next plays Dec. 28 at Tri-City.




Oregon volleyball highlights big weekend

Ducks play for national title, Hawks play for Teddy Bears
Dec. 14, 2012

As much as the Oregon football team has captured the state's attention, it's women's teams that have brought home the hardware this fall with one national title and second waiting to be won Saturday.

Oregon will play for the NCAA Volleyball title Saturday against Texas, having won their way into the match with a solid 3-1 victory over top-seeded Penn State Thursday in Louisville, Ky.

The Ducks reached the title match for the first time behind Jesuit alum Liz Brenner, and Pac-12 Player of the Year Alaina Bergsma.

Oregon won the women's cross country title earlier in the fall.


The annual Teddy Bear Toss is Saturday at the Rose Garden, with the Winterhawks aiming for the league record set by Calgary.

Just six years ago, the team established a record with more than 11,000 Teddy Bears thrown onto the ice following the first goal of the game, but the team record is now 22,392, and the Western Hockey League record is 26,919. For the team to break that record with a sold-out crowd of more than 9,000, every fan would need three Teddy Bears. The Winterhawks are promoting purchase of teddy bears at Dollar Tree for ... $1.


The Trail Blazers can put together their first three-game winning streak of the season Sunday with a home game against New Orleans. Following a solid win over San Antonio on Thursday, the Blazers improved to 6-5 at home and can move within a game of .500 with a win over the Hornets, who enter the game with the worst record in the Western Conference - even below the Lakers - 5-16.

Portland is 10-12, and 11th in the West, but just a game behind eighth-place Dallas.


The Jesuit boys basketball team - four-time defending state champions at Class 6A, continue their non-league schedule with a road game at Lincoln Friday. The Crusaders, who lost only to Oak Hill Academy and Central Catholic on the way to the state title, play in the Les Schwab Invitational that begins Dec. 26.



Hawks keep rolling, Blazers need a win

Oregon's volleyball team aims for a title, Teddy Bears get revved up
Dec. 10, 2012

The Portland Winterhawks just can't lose - almost, this season.

Even when they do lose, it's almost a shame.

Friday, the Hawks outshot visiting Tri-City 46-13, yet lost 3-2, only the team's sixth loss in 31 games this season. Those losses include a 5-1 loss in the season opener to Seattle in which they outshot the visitors 30-2 in the first period alone only to finish those 20 minutes down 1-0.

Portland rebounded from Friday's loss with a 6-2 win at Seattle Saturday, followed by a 4-1 win over Tri-City Sunday afternoon on their home ice.

Portland plays host to Everett Friday and Seattle Saturday - both games at the Rose Garden. Saturday's game is the annual "Teddy Bear Toss," in which fans are invited to bring stuffed animals to donate to charities, saving them to toss on the ice upon the game's first goal.

Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers have struggled of late, losing six of their last eight games, and yet a win over Toronto Monday would give them the same record as - the Los Angeles Lakers, 9-12.

Toronto enters Monday's game at 4-17, a record better than just one team in the NBA, although part of that might be due to the team's schedule. The Raptors have played 14 of their 21 games on the road and are 1-13 in those games, including a 102-83 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday.

Portland lost 99-80 in a listless performance at home to the Sacramento Kings Saturday night.

Oregon State will visit Portland for a men's basketball game Wednesday at the Stott Center, a game the Vikings are promoting as a "white out" on 12-12-12. The Beavers are 5-2 on the season with losses only at No. 10 Kansas (84-78) and Alabama (65-62) in a tournament game in New York City. Roberto Nelson and Ahmad Starks each hit five 3-point shots during an 85-54 win over Grambling State Saturday night.

Portland State is 2-4 with its Big Sky Conference opener on Dec. 20 at home against Idaho State.



Monday - Toronto at Portland Trail Blazers

Wednesday - Oregon State at Portland State men's basketball

Thursday - Oregon vs. Penn State, women's volleyball Final Four, Louisville, Ky.

Saturday - Seattle at Portland Winterhawks, Teddy Bear Toss, Rose Garden


It's all fight, no flight in WHL

The league hits Portland, coach Mike Johnston, hard with sanctions
Nov. 29, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

The Western Hockey League brought the hammer down on the Portland Winterhawks Wednesday, especially general manager and coach Mike Johnston.

Johnston's been cheating, using the team's bankroll to lure players to the Rose City from far away places like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, or even Europe for the past five seasons. After a league investigation, the top advantages that bankroll and Johnston's use of it, were reported to the public, and sanctions handed down.

At least that's how you can look at the findings if you'rejust plain mean.

Johnston, who was an assistant in the National Hockey League at the time, was the first managerial person to show up in Portland after owner Bill Gallacher bought the team in late 2008, and kept it from moving … to Salem. The team has done nothing but make the Rose City proud of it, playing for a spot in the Memorial Cup the past two seasons.

Wednesday, the WHL suspended Johnston from his two positions for the remainder of the season. The league's audit of the Hawks caused sanctions to include forfeiture of team's top draft pick for the next five seasons, and the following four rounds for the 2013 bantam draft.

Wow. The Hawks got pounded by the WHL like USC's football program got pounded by the NCAA, only in this case none of the players will suffer by being forced to miss things like bowl games.

The key issues the league pointed to were Johnston's handing the team captain a free cell phone for three seasons, and the use of free flights for families in need for several years.

The sanctions immediately brought up the correlation between USC and the NCAA and the Hawks and the WHL, which is the first time that's happened that I've been aware of.

The key thing keeping that from having happened in the past for me would be the on-ice display of anger: fighting. The WHL allows fighting, and allows teams to encourage it with background music such as AC/DC's "TNT" blaring in the background as soon as two players start even looking at each other.

So, in the league,  you can watch your kid duke it out on the ice, the team just can't have any involvement in paying for you to see it happen.

All fight, no flight in the WHL.

The sanctions on Johnston are almost like those with Pete Carroll of the Trojans, showing off a disregard for league rules, and blatant abuse of financial power to produce a superior product on the ice. Namely Reggis Bush, who the program basically paid to play and he ended up winning the Heisman Trophy. Which he gave back after the whole deal got discovered.

Portland has gone from being the laughingstock of junior hockey - across the entire Canadian Hockey League with a 22-game losing streak at one point, to being one of its consistently best franchises, directly since Johnston arrived.

But, he's had the money of a billionaire - Gallacher - behind him to accomplish that.

Reading the report from the WHL, and the response from the Winterhawks, the correlation between Johnston/Hawks and Carroll/Trojans is immediate, but extremely unfortunate for the WHL. For one thing, the Hawks can't lure players such as Bush from out of nowhere because of draft picks. Teams at the bottom of the league have the best opportunity to snag a player like Bush by drafting him. They just have to know he's got the talent, which has nothing to do with money.

Why aren't the Hawks and Trojans a good match? Especially as the league has gotten a great deal from that in the Winterhawks being a fabulous franchise in its biggest market.

And, for a few cell phones and trips for families that can't pay to see their sons play in person.

The team is appealing the sanctions.

Hardcore sports fans will note other college football programs have gotten hammered with probation recently, but those were for far different rationales. Ohio State might be playing for the National Championship this year, but it's on probation because it's program just got completely out of hand letting athletes do what they wanted when they wanted. Penn State is on probation for what you might call plain evil reasons.

USC got whacked for being way too clever, which seems to be what the WHL is pointing to the Hawks and highlighting.

I'm pulling for Johnston big-time, because not only do the infractions seem minor, they don't even seem real for a league that's basically professional in nature. A cell phone for the team captain - so he can keep in touch other players? Wow.

We're all going to learn a lot more about junior hockey in the very short term, and getting the other side of the investigation process we all didn't get when USC was on the way to getting punished by the NCAA, which fans in LA probably thought was unfair.


Hawks keep rolling, 6-2 over Victoria

Portland scores its seventh straight win with another balanced effort
Nov. 2, 2012

Another game, another balanced effort produced yet another win for the Portland Winterhawks.

Five different players, led by Nic Petan, scored as the Hawks beat Victoria 6-2 at the Rose Garden.

Petan scored twice, at Ty Rattie added his team-leading 10th goal as Portland fired 49 shots at Victoria goaltender Patrik Polivka, including 30 in the first period on the way to a 3-1 lead.

Brendan Leipsic, Taylor Peters and Taylor Leier also scored for Portland, which plays host to the Rockets again Saturday.


Oct. 31, 2012

For the third game in a row, the Portland Winterhawks got goals from at least five players and shot their way past the Everett Silvertips 5-2 at Memorial Coliseum Wednesday night.

Ty Rattie scored his team-leading 9th goal of the season, and Seth Jones, Chase De Leo, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Brendan Leipsic all let up the net for Portland, which outshot Everett 45-24.

Brendan Burke stopped 22 shots to record the win in goal.

Portland improved to 10-3-1-0, 21 points with the win. The Hawks have outshot every team they've played this season heading into games Friday and Saturday night against Victoria, which is 9-6-0-0, 18 points in the BC Division of the Western Conference.



Oct. 28, 2012

Portland got goals from five different players and four assists from Ty Rattie as they overwhelmed Tri-City 6-0 in a WHL game Sunday night at Memorial Coliseum.

The Hawks scored three times in the opening 10 minutes against their US Division rivals, causing the Americans to replace goaltender Eric Comrie, who had allowed three goals on 11 shots. Brenden Fiebelkorn made 29 saves on 32 shots, but didn't get any help from the team's offense, which fired off just 15 shots on goal during the night.

Mac Carruth stopped all 15 shots to earn his second shutout of the season.

Portland leads the league in defense, having allowed an average of just two goals per game. Since losing at Regina, 3-2, in overtime, Oct. 9, the Hawks have outscored opponents by a combined 27-6.

Portland returns to action Wednesday with a home game against Everett at Memorial Coliseum.



Oct. 22, 2012

The depth of the Portland Winterhawks roster showed itself Saturday as six different players scored in a 6-1 win over Seattle in a Western Hockey League game at the Rose Garden.

Seattle scored just 1:35 into the game, but the Hawks took over from there, finishing with a 43-23 edge in shots on goal, and improved to 8-3-1-0, 17 points.

Dominic Turgeon, Troy Rutkowski and Keegan Iverson all scored their first goal of the season and Ty Rattie added his eighth goal to power the Hawks, who have a week off before returning to action against Tri-City at Memorial Coliseum, Oct. 28. Tri-City leads the U.S. Division with 20 points.

Portland will celebrate a new ice sheet at the game, one made to NHL specifications.

Chase De Leo scored his fourth goal of the season and also had a pair of assists, and Nic Petan added three assists for Portland in front of a crowd of 8,760 on hand on Pink the Rink night in which the ice was colored pink.



"Dirty Harry" Brad Harrison reflects on career

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

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.



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


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