Monday, November 24, 2014

Winterhawks Weekly: Owning Kelowna

In their three game road trip through central British Columbia, the Portland Winterhawks saw dominance over one team come to an end while dominance over another team continued.  Wednesday, the Winterhawks were thoroughly outclassed in a 4-1 loss in Kamloops, ending the team's dominance that dates back to the 2012 Conference semifinals.  Meanwhile, their back-to-back in Kelowna over the weekend extended the Winterhawks' (mostly) dominace over the league leading Kelowna Rockets, but it almost didn't happen.  Down 3-0 after one period on Friday, the Winterhawks would force overtime thanks to three unanswered goals before Alex Schoenborn would put in the winner in overtime to make it a 4-3 win for the Winterhawks.  Saturday, the Winterhawks would jump out to the big lead, but needed a Miles Koules goal to hold off a Rockets rally in a 4-3 win.

The Winterhawks welcome the Victoria Royals on Tuesday and will play against Kootenay on Friday before heading out to Kennewick for their first meeting of the season against Tri-City.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winterhawks Weekly: Three out of Four (Points) Ain't Bad

In their home and home against the Everett Silvertips last weekend, the Portland Winterhawks managed to come away with three out of four points.  In the Everett portion of the home and home last Friday, the Winterhawks managed to force a shootout, but could not close out the deal, as the Silvertips win 4-3, leaving the Winterhawks with a point.  Sunday was the Winterhawks part of the home and home, and it was much kinder, as the Winterhawks would run over the Silvertips 7-1.

The Winterhawks head to British Columbia this week, as they will travel to Kamloops on Wednesday to take on the Blazers before a back-to-back in Kelowna on Friday and Saturday against the WHL-leading Rockets.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Time to Find a New Home

In a somewhat surprising development, the Minnesota Wild have placed Josh Harding on waivers today.  The move comes just after the Wild activated him from Injured Reserve, which in itself was done because he broke his foot in an off-ice incident.  Harding has not played since December of last year, and when he's healthy, he can be a viable option in goal.  However, between the foot injury and his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, those moments are questionable as to when they will happen.

If Harding does clear waivers, he will be assigned to the Wild's AHL affiliate in Iowa.  However, there are likely to be a few teams inquiring about his availability.  Teams that could use a guy like Harding include Buffalo, Edmonton, New Jersey, and Winnipeg.

Erie Examiner: A Costly Fight

The Erie Otters are facing adversity for the first time this season, and it happened in their first game of the week.  Tuesday, the Otters shut out the Mississauga Steelheads 4-0, but that wasn't the story, as Connor McDavid will miss 5-6 weeks after fracturing his hand in a fight.  Life after McDavid hasn't gone so smoothly, as the Otters were unable to get anything going Friday in a 2-1 loss to Niagara and the floodgates opened in the third period of the Saturday game against Kitchener, as the Rangers scored four times to win 5-2.

The Otters will try to find their way on Wednesday, as they host Plymouth before hitting the road for a game Friday at Sarnia and Saturday at Saginaw.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Winterhawks Weekly: Still Trying to Find Their Way

Last week, the Portland Winterhawks won one game and dropped the other, with their 5-4 loss at home to Red Deer and a 4-3 overtime win against Kamloops.  That means the Winterhawks are still looking for their first three game winning streak, and while the Winterhawks have done fairly well lately, the inability to put together a winning streak of more than two games has them last (although a point is all that separates last from third place).

The task does not get any easier, as they will have a home and home with Everett, with Friday's game in Everett and Sunday's game will be at home.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Erie Examiner: A Bump in the Road

The Erie Otters remain at the top of the OHL, but it wasn't without a shocking loss.  Three games in three days meant that the Otters would be hard pressed to keep their amazing start going.  It just so happened that Niagara was the team to do it on Thursday.  In the Otters' 5-2 loss, the point streak of Connor McDavid came to an end, and the Otters were unable to answer the IceDogs' second period barrage.  Friday was a new day, and the Otters made the most of it, as they were able to turn back Sarnia 5-2 on the strength of an Alex DeBrincat hat trick.  Saturday was the team's statement win of the weekend, as they handled Saginaw easily 8-1.  McDavid and Dylan Strome had four points apiece.

The Otters are at home tomorrow against Mississauga in a Veterans' Day game that will have a start time of 5:30 PM.  They will also hit the road on Friday against Niagara before coming home for a Saturday game against Kitchener.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Winterhawks Weekly: Now, That's More Like It

The Portland Winterhawks are finding themselves a little more with each passing game, and it helped that they managed to get four out of six points this past week. Thursday didn't start out so well, as they were blanked 5-0 to the visiting Kelowna Rockets. However, the Winterhawks didn't have to wait long for retribution, as the Rockets would be back for a Saturday game. Paul Bittner would score the game winner in overtime to avenge their earlier loss by a 3-2 score. Sunday, the Edmonton Oil Kings came calling, and despite some of the name changing, the Winterhawks were up to the task for this game, as they would give goaltender Michael Bullion enough support in a 3-1 win.

The Winterhawks finish their home stand this week, as they welcome Red Deer on Friday and Kamloops on Saturday.