Weekly junior hockey report, March 2

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS

Where they stand: At 44-15-3-1 (92 points), the Winterhawks are in second place in the U.S. Division, one point behind Tri-City (45-15-1-2). Kamloops (92 points) leads the BC Division.

This week: Visit Tri-City at 7 p.m. Friday, host Seattle at 3 p.m. Saturday (Memorial Coliseum), host Tri-City at 5 p.m. Sunday (Rose Garden), 7 p.m. Wednesday at Kamloops, 7:30 p.m. March 9 at Everett.

Last week: Beat Spokane 8-3, lost 2-1 in overtime at Everett, beat Kamloops 5-2.

Player of the week: Sven Bartschi. The Swiss forward had a goal and two assists in each Portland win this week, including the go-ahead third-period goal in Tuesday’s important win over Kamloops.

Notes and numbers:

• The next three days could go a long way toward sorting out the U.S. Division title chase. Tri-City and Portland meet for the final two times this season, on Friday in Kennewick and on Sunday in Portland.

• Another key game figures to be on Wednesday at Kamloops, the other team in the chase for the best record in the Western Conference, and the league.

• After Sunday’s home game against Tri-City, Portland is on the road for its next five games before closing the regular season at home on March 18 against Seattle.

• In addition to important games, the Winterhawks have a couple of promotions this weekend. On Saturday afternoon the shades will be open at Veterans Memorial Coliseum for a daylight matinee. Also, a paper airplane toss will give fans a chance to win a variety of prices. On Sunday, the Famous Chicken (aka San Diego Chicken) will be on hand during the key game against the Tri-City Americans.

• The Winterhawks have signed Sue Johnson, the team’s education adviser, to a three-year contract extension. Johnson has been the education adviser for the Winterhawks for more 20 years, first while working as a teacher and counselor at Milwaukie High School before joining the team in an expanded capacity last season. She works with all Winterhawks players, both in college and high school, as they pursue their academic goals.

VANCOUVER VICTORY

Where they stand: On the brink of elimination. Seattle leads Vancouver 2-0 in a best-of-5 Northern Pacific Hockey League semifinals.

This week: Vancouver tries to advance to the NORPAC finals. To get there, the Victory must beat the Seattle Junior Totems three consecutive times, beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday at Mountain View Ice Arena in Vancouver. Games 4 and 5, if needed, are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at Mountain View Ice Arena.

Last week: Beat Eugene 2-1 in a best-of-3 playoff series, winning the deciding game on Sunday 5-2. Vancouver then dropped the first two games of its series with Seattle, 6-0 and 4-0, to fall into a must-win situation.