Weekly Junior Hockey notebook 11/23

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Portland Winterhawks

This week: Host Kootenay at 3 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum; visit Seattle, 7:05 p.m. on Saturday in Kent; host Seattle at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Rose Garden.

Last week: Lost at Kamloops, 6-4; beat visiting Medicine Hat 5-2; beat visiting Vancouver 3-0.

Where they stand: At 18-4-1-0, the Winterhawks have 37 points from 23 games. They are in first place in the U.S. Division, five points up on Spokane and Tri-City. In the Canadian Hockey League top-10, Portland is ranked third behind top-rated Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Kamloops.

First shutout for Burke: Winterhawks 17-year-old goalie Brendan Burke earned his first career shutout in Wednesday's 3-0 win over the Vancouver Giants. Of his 18 saves, three of the biggest denied Clark County native Trevor Cheek.

"I know Burke pretty well. I shoot on him in Arizona every once in a while (in the offseason)," Cheek said. "He's a really big guy who plays his angles well. He played a really good game and made some big saves for them."

Burke is 6-3 this season with a .886 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.97. Winterhawks general manager and head coach Mike Johnston said Burke has made dramatic improvement this season.

"The only game I didn't think he had a particularly good game was the last Vancouver game," Johnston said, recalling a 9-5 Portland win on Nov. 6 β€” a game in which Cheek had two goals and one assist. "So I put him back in the net again tonight against Vancouver and he had a very solid game from start to finish."

Daytime hockey: Friday's game against Kootenay will be played with the curtains raised at the Coliseum, allowing outside light into the arena bowl -- at least until it gets dark outside.

Gaping goal advantage: Portland leads the WHL in both goals scored (104) and fewest goals allowed (49), a difference of 55 goals.

Blankets and socks wanted: The Winterhawks Booster Club will be collecting new and gently used blankets and men's socks at Friday's 3 p.m. game at the Memorial Coliseum. The blankets and socks will be distributed by the Union Gospel Mission, which assists homeless people in Portland.

Vancouver Vipers

This week: Tri-City Outlaws at Vancouver, 7:35 p.m. Saturday at Mountain View Ice Arena.

Last week: Lost to league-leading West Sound, 13-1.

Where they stand: At 2-12, Vancouver is last in the six-team Northern Pacific Hockey League.

Food for Share: Fans who bring a can of food for Share will receive $1 off admission. Regular ticket prices are $5, $3 for students with school ID.

Host homes needed: The Vipers are often seeking homes for players from outside the area. For billet details, e-mail Biz Larkin at billetaviper@ymail.com.