Junior hockey report, 12/21

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter



Portland Winterhawks

This week: Idle for holiday break. Next game is Dec. 28 at Tri-City. Next home game is a 3 p.m. daylight game on Dec. 29 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Last week: Beat Everett 4-2, beat Seattle 4-2, beat Everett 3-2, beat Spokane 4-3.

Where they stand: At 29-5-1-0, the Winterhawks have the Western Hockey League’s best winning percentage (.823) and 59 points from 35 games. They are in first place in the U.S. Division, six points up on Spokane. In the Canadian Hockey League top-10, Portland is ranked third behind top-rated Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

Record pace: The 59 points are a franchise record entering the holiday break. The 1997-98 Memorial Cup winning team was 28-7-1 with 57 points entering the holiday break. Since starting the season with four wins, three losses and a tie, the Winterhawks are 25-2.

• Nic Petan is second in league scoring with 60 points, two behind Colin Smith of the Kamloops Blazers who has played in four more games than Petan. Petan has a nine-game point streak with eight goals and eight assists. He has a point in 28 of 34 games this season. Brendan Leipsic’s 56 points are fourth in the league.

• Winterhawks forwards Keegan Iverson and Dominic Turgeon have been named to the United States’ roster for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Dec. 28-Jan. 4 in Quebec. The Winterhawks should have five players in international competition following the holiday break. Ty Rattie and Tyler Wotherspoon have been named to Canada’s World Junior Championship team, while Seth Jones is projected to make Team USA for that tournament in Ufa, Russia. Earlier in December Oliver Bjorkstrand (Denmark) and Layne Viveiros (Austria) played in Division I of the World Junior Championship.

• The Portland City Council on Wednesday postponed a vote on the plan to improve Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Portland mayor Sam Adams wanted to have the project finalized before his term ended, but the WHL sanctions against the Winterhawks — who have said they will contribute $10 million to the project — led to the council pushing consideration of the project back to March of 2013.

Vancouver Vipers

This week: Idle for holiday break. Next game is Dec. 30 at Mountain View Ice Arena against Tri-Cities.

Last week: Lost twice at Bellingham, 6-3 and 5-2. Playing a third day in a row, lost 17-0 at league-leading West Sound (which has a record of 18-3).

Where they stand: At 2-19, Vancouver is last in the six-team Northern Pacific Hockey League.

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