Junior hockey report 11/11
Friday, November 11, 2011
Where they stand: At 11-7-1-1 (24 points), the Winterhawks are second in the U.S. Division behind Tri-City (13-5, 26 points).
This week: The Winterhawks are home for the first time since Oct. 18, hosting Spokane at 7 p.m. Friday and at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Both games are in the Rose Garden.
Last week: Won twice at Kelowna, 6-5 in a shootout on Nov. 4, and 3-1 on Nov. 5 to conclude the nine-game, 17-day road trip.
Player of the week: Sven Bartschi scored the shootout winner on Nov. 4, and assisted on all three goals on Nov. 5, both wins at Kelowna.
Road trip a success: Head coach Mike Johnston said his team was resilient and adaptable during a road trip that spanned 17 days and included one stretch of four games in five nights.
“Our league is about challenges and about pushing the players,” Johnston said. “I thought it was a great test for us because we had to handle the other teams matchups, we had to handle the travel and a bit of fatigue, and also play against tough competition.”
Johnston said he likes making the annual Eastern Conference swing early in the season because two weeks together on the bus and in hotels helps the players bond. It also helps the coaches learn about strengths and weaknesses.
News and notes: Dillon Wagner, a 20-year-old center acquired last month from Swift Current, is expected to make his Winterhawks debut this weekend. He has been on the league’s 45-day injury list because of a nagging sore knee but is ready to go, according to Johnston. ... Pearce Eviston, a 19-year-old center who played in 14 games last season — 12 of those in the playoffs — will begin practicing with the team and could play again in three weeks to a month, Johnston said. Eviston had hip surgery over the summer.
• In honor of Veterans Day, fans on Friday and Saturday are encouraged to bring items for care packages to be sent to members of the military.
Where they stand: At 7-5, the Victory are third in the eight-team NORPAC behind 11-4 Southern Oregon and 7-2-1 Seattle.
This week: The Victory play six games over eight days starting on Saturday. Yellowstone of Cody, Wyo., visits Vancouver for games at 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday. The Victory visit Eugene at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and are home again on Nov. 18-19 against West Sound.
Last week: Vancouver lost 6-4 at home to Southern Oregon on Nov. 6 in a game that was a late addition to the schedule.
Big crowd anticipated: The Victory has given away tickets for Saturday’s game and expect a crowd of 750 to 1,000. Among the special events will be give-aways from sponsors, face painting for kids, and several raffles, according to Victory vice president Clay Bonds.
— Paul Danzer