PORTLAND — The status of the Western Hockey League’s top playoff scorer isn’t likely to be known much before faceoff for Game 3 of the WHL finals at 6 p.m. Sunday in the Rose Garden.
Winterhawks forward Ty Rattie fell backwards into the boards on a clean hit in the third period of Game 1 at Edmonton on Thursday and has not played since. It is standard for hockey teams during the playoffs to keep quiet about injuries.
“It’s really day to day right now,” Winterhawks coach and general manager Mike Johnston said on Saturday. “I thought he looked good yesterday. The decision of the trainer Rich Campbell was that he wasn’t ready to play (on Friday).”
Nic Petan, a 16-year-old who was the 16th overall pick in the 2010 WHL bantam draft, took Rattie’s place at right wing on Portland’s top line with Marcel Noebels and Sven Bartschi. Primarily a center, Petan played left wing late in the year to get ice time. But Friday was the first time he’d played right wing for the Winterhawks.
So Johnston had some extra coaching to do, right?
“I talked to him for about a minute and told him, ‘You’re going to play right wing. Be ready for it.’ That’s it,” Johnston said.
Bartschi scored two goals Friday, but said he missed Rattie.
“It was different. I kind of miss him out there sometimes,” Bartschi said. “But Nic Petan jumped in there in his spot and did a great job (on Friday). He was skating hard and did the right things out there and it was a lot of fun to play with him, too.”
Johnston had praise for Petan.
“He’s a good speed guy. He gets in open ice and can really use his speed,” the coach said.