Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Peterborough Platter: New Beginnings Mid-Season

The edition of Winterhawks Weekly will occur after the New Year's Game.  If you noticed, I also decided to take on scribbling about the Peterborough Petes, and it so happens to be the first week that Jody Hull took over after a coaching change.  They took 5-2 win against Kingston on Friday, but were trounced 6-3 in Ottawa.  A home and home against Belleville will happen on the 1st and 3rd of January while the week will wrap up with a prolonged home and home with Kitchener, with the first game happening on the 4th in Kitchener.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Peterborough Petes

Covering the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL is nice, but it doesn't offer nearly enough material to write in the midst of the NHL lockout, which is robbing me of a lot of material.  So, in an effort to add some new hockey material, I will begin writing about an OHL team, specifically the Peterborough Petes.  If you haven't figured out why this team was chosen, then you haven't noticed the name that is typing this as you read this.

To get you up to speed on the Petes' season so far, they are dead last in the OHL, with only 20 points.  Recently, the Petes canned Mike Pelino as head coach and taking over for the rest of the season is one-time Florida Panther Jody Hull.  Francis Menard leads the team with 30 points and 2012 first round pick Slater Koekkoek has 25 points.  Golatending for the team is dreadful, with a 3.57 GAA by Michael Giugovaz.  Part of that problem is that scoring 86 goals while giving up 140 goals will more often than not, be a recipe for disaster.  The Petes hope to turn things around with a road game on the 28th at Kingston, and a home game on the 29th against Ottawa.  The Petes will have a home and home against Belleville on New Years Day and on January 3.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winterhawks Weekly: Back to the Ice

Holiday break will end for the Winterhawks this Friday, when they hit road for a home and home against Tri-City.  The home portion for the Winterhawks will be on Saturday in a Daylight game, where the curtains of Memorial Coliseum will be drawn back.  Monday, the Winterhawks will play at home against Seattle.  It should be noted that the WHL will be greatly impacted by the World Junior Championships going on in Ufa, Russia, and for the Winterhawks, that means no Ty Rattie, Tyler Wotherspoon, and Seth Jones (if he makes the U.S. squad).  There is also another tournament going on in Drummondville, QC, and Keegan Iverson and Dominic Turgeon will be representing the U.S. in that tournament, which is an under-17 tournament.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Winterhawks Weekly: Christmas Break

This version of Winterhawks Weekly is coming early, as the only game this week happened yesterday, a 4-3 decision in favor of the Winterhawks in Spokane.  Taylor Peters got two points and Mac Carruth got the win in net.  The Winterhawks will play again on December 28 at Tri-City, and are now lead the WHL with 59 points.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winterhawks Weekly: It's Raining Bears

Portland had a perfect weekend, winning all three games.  Friday, they beat Everett at home 4-2 behind a two point effort from Taylor Leier.  Leier would follow that up with a two goal game the following evening against Seattle, including the Teddy Bear Toss goal that would see 12,814 bears rain down onto the Rose Garden ice.  The Winterhawks would win 4-2.  Sunday, they traveled to Everett, where Keegan Iverson scored the game winner and Troy Rutkowski added two points in a 3-2 victory.  The Winterhawks will play tomorrow at Spokane before taking the winter break.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Country Duty Calls

With the World Junior Championship nearing, the WHL will be greatly impacted by this event, as some players will be taking part in this event.  This year, 54 WHL players will be heading to Ufa, Russia, where this year's event will be held.  The tournament is divided into the under-20 and under-17 categories, meaning that the number going represents both sections.  For the under-20 group, the players that will be in that group are Alessio Bertaggia (Brandon, representing Switzerland), Victor Rask (Calgary, Sweden), David Musil (Edmonton, Czech Republic), Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton, Canada), Edgars Kulda (Edmonton, Latvia, and is attending the national team selection camp), Mirco Mueller (Everett, Switzerland), Marek Hrbas (Kamloops, Czech Republic), JC Lipon (Kamloops, Canada), Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw, Canada), Ty Rattie and Tyler Wotherspoon (Portland, Canada), Seth Jones (Portland, United States, and attending the national team selection camp), Oliver Bjorkstrand (Portland, Denmark), Layne Viveiros (Portland, Austria), Leon Draisaitl (Prince Albert, Germany), Jonas Knutsen (Prince Albert, Norway), Rinalds Rosinskis (Prince George, Latvia, and attending national team selection camp), Patrik Bartosak (Red Deer, Czech Republic), Andrey Makarov (Saskatoon, Russia, and attending national team selection camp), Roberts Lipsbergs (Seattle, Latvia, and attending national team selection camp), and Eetu Laurikainen (Swift Current, Finland, and attending national team selection camp).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winterhawks Weekly: Love that Away Cookin'

The weekend for the Portland Winterhawks was one of being road warriors.  They dropped a 3-2 decision at home against Tri-City on Friday, but went on to take a 6-2 win against Seattle in Kent, WA on Saturday, and went into Kennewick, WA and came away with a 4-1 win against Tri-City.  Presten Kopeck scored twice in the Saturday game and Derrick Pouliot scored three points in the Sunday game.  Nic Petan scored four goals over the weekend, giving him 20 on the season.  This Friday and Saturday, they will be at home against Everett and Seattle before heading to Everett on Sunday.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Silvertip Beginnings

Did you know that the Everett Silvertips were successful in their first three seasons in the WHL?  The Everett Herald did, and they have published a fairly comprehensive photo-book detailing the team's early years, from when they were formed up to the 2005-06 season, as this book was published after the season.  The photos tell a story of a team that like most expansion teams, was formed from the castoffs of the other teams and a team that was (and still is) embraced by the city of Everett, an hour north of Seattle.  Reaching the WHL finals (and winning the U.S. Division) in their first season, they followed it up with a second round appearance the following year and a Conference final the year after that.  The photo explanations provide enough detail as to what is going on, and not all of them are on-ice, as the team and the players made great strides in connecting with the city.  Statistics for each season is included, as is the headlines that dominated the Everett Herald sports pages during the season.  If you consider yourself a Silvertips fan, or are like me and like learning about junior hockey, this book is for you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Midweek Streaking

Because the Winterhawks have four games this week, I will take this time to start with last night's game, since the weekend will be busy.  The Winterhawks made it seven in a row and 12 at home after coming from behind to win at home 7-5 against Everett.  Brendan Leipsic led the way with four goals and is second behind teammate Nic Petan in scoring.  The trio of Petan, Leipsic, and Ty Rattie have more than 40 points each, and are clearly the go-to guys on a team that has Seth Jones finding his offensive touch at the right time and Oliver Bjorkstrand emerging as a solid secondary scorer.  In the last 20 games, the Winterhawks have only lost once, and that hot streak now has them just behind the Halifax Mooseheads in the latest Canadian Hockey League rankings.  Games against Tri-City (twice) and Seattle are looming this weekend.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Seven Samurai

I have not done a movie review on this blog in a while, and since the lockout is hindering how much I can talk about hockey, today is a day for a movie.  The three and a half hour epic known as Seven Samurai is Akira Kurosawa's most famous work and takes a lot of the glamour out of the samurai that Hollywood puts on it.  The basic plot is that there is a village of farmers that need some samurais to help fend off some bandits.  This leads to seven out of work samurais to band together and protect them.  Up until the first battles begin with the bandits, Kurosawa focuses on the struggles that the samurais have in trying to gain the trust of the farmers, who themselves aren't exactly innocent in their dealings with past protectors.  The samurais do their job, but not without paying a steep price, as one samurai notes that he has lost every battle.  It becomes clear what he means at the end, when the final scene is focused on the four graves of the seven samurai who were slain in battle.

The pacing of the movie is deliberate, which may turn off some people, but Kurosawa is careful to not leave out any critical detail in the movie, something that was also present in Ikiru, a movie I reviewed earlier.  If you have the time and patience, do yourself a favor and check out Seven Samurai.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Winterhawks Weekly: One Hell of a Week

The week for the Winterhawks didn't quite start so smoothly, as they were handed some sanctions by the WHL for breaking some rules.  If you want to know what that means, read my earlier piece "Trouble in Hawkey Land."  As for the games themselves, the 'Hawks just keep winning, taking a 5-2 decision at home against Seattle and a 4-1 win on the road against Everett.  Oliver Bjorkstrand scored two points in the Seattle win and Brendan Burke played well in the road victory against Everett.  This week, the Winterhawks will be hosting Everett on Tuesday, and will sandwich a roadie against Seattle on Saturday between two home games against Tri-City on Friday and Sunday.