Weekly junior hockey report, March 9

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




Where they stand: At 46-17-3-1 (96 points), the Winterhawks are in second place in the U.S. Division, one point behind Tri-City (47-17-1-2). Kamloops (95 points) leads the BC Division.

This week: Visit Everett at 7 p.m. Friday, visit Seattle at 7 p.m. Saturday, visit Victoria for 7 p.m. games on March 14 and 16.

Last week: Won 6-4 at Tri-City, beat Seattle 7-3, lost to Tri-City 4-3, lost at Kamloops 5-1.

Player of the week: Sven Bartschi (again). The Swiss forward had seven goals over three games, including a four-goal game against Seattle. He was called up on an emergency basis by the NHL’s Calgary Flames and missed the game at Kamloops.

Notes and numbers:

• Bartschi, 19, is scheduled to play in his first NHL game on Friday when Calgary hosts Winnipeg. He was called up because injuries have severely depleted the Flames’ roster. He must return to Portland as soon as two of Calgary’s injured regulars return to health.

Bartschi met with media in Calgary on Thursday. He told NHL.com: “I’m crazy nervous, but I think that’s normal. To jump in now, it’s so important. We’re in a playoff run. To jump in now, it’s a huge difference from the start of the season.”

• Bartschi got the call Wednesday morning, meaning the Winterhawks missed him in Wednesday’s important game at Kamloops. Portland took a 1-0 lead into the third period but lost 5-1, keeping the Blazers in the race for the best record in the WHL.

• Bartschi was the Western Hockey League player of the week for the week ending March 3. Bartschi currently leads all WHL players averaging 2.0 points per game and ranks ninth among all scorers with 94 points (33 goals, 61 assists) in just 47 games played.

• Dean Vrooman is returning to the Winterhawks as the club’s Director of Corporate Partnerships. He was the team’s radio play-by-play announcer for 25 seasons from 1982-83 through 2006-07. He called more than 2,000 games in that span, including Memorial Cup victories in 1983 and 1998. In addition to his broadcasting duties, Vrooman also worked in media relations and sponsorship sales and service during his first tenure with the Hawks. He left the team in 2007 to pursue a career in banking with Vancouver’s First Independent Bank. The bank was recently purchased by Spokane-based Sterling Bank.

• The Portland Winterhawks Booster Club recently made two donations to the Winterhawks Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA).

A $3,000 donation in honor of Clark County resident Carl Savage and his mother, Betty, was made to the WAHA fund for junior hockey programs. Carl and Betty were longtime Winterhawks game volunteers. Carl Savage died on May, 15, 2011. The $3,000 was raised by selling hockey memorabilia donated by the Savage family. The booster club also made an $8,000 donation to the WAHA Continuing Player’s Education Fund, which supports players who go onto college after playing for the Winterhawks.

• Portland has one remaining regular-season home game, at 5 p.m. March 18 at Memorial Coliseum against Seattle.


Where they stand: The Victory’s season ended with a playoff loss to Seattle on March 2. The Junior Totems swept the Victory and will face Southern Oregon in the best-of-5 league finals. All of those games will be played in Medford, starting on Friday.