This week: The Winterhawks complete a six-game road trip through the Western Hockey League’s East Division with games at 6 p.m. Friday at league-leading Prince Albert and 6 p.m. Saturday at Swift Current.
Where they stand: At 5-3-1, the Winterhawks lead the U.S. Division with 11 points. Spokane, at 5-1 (10 points), has the best winning percentage in the division.
Next home game: Oct. 20 against Seattle.
• On Friday at Prince Albert, the Winterhawks face one of the WHL’s hottest teams. The Raiders have won seven of their first eight games, the only loss coming in a shootout. Kamloops, which leads the B.C. Division with six wins and one shootout loss, is the only other unbeaten team in the WHL entering this weekend.
• Mac Carruth made 26 saves Wednesday to earn his fifth career WHL shutout in a 4-0 win at Saskatoon. Carruth was reassigned to Portland last weekend by the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs. Carruth’s return means the Winterhawks have four 20-year-olds — and three goaltenders. They have until Oct. 20 to be down to three 20-year-olds. Most of the WHL had to be down to three 20-year-olds on Thursday, but Portland was among the teams granted an extension because of the late decision to return Carruth to Portland.
• Through nine games, the Winterhawks have outshot each opponent and have a total shots-on-goal advantage of 365-235.
• Twelve Winterhawks have goals this season. Oliver Bjorstrand and Nic Petan top the list with four apiece. Brendan Leipsic, Chase DeLeo and Derrick Pouliot each have three goals. Team captain Troy Rutkowski has a team-high seven assists. Bjorkstrad’s plus-7 leads the team in plus-minus.
Vipers play 3 times
The Vancouver Vipers play NORPAC games on Friday in Bremerton, on Saturday at Mountain View Ice Arena, and on Sunday in Kennewick. Saturday’s home game against the West Sound Warriors starts at 7:35 p.m.
The Vipers (1-0) are the only unbeaten team in the Northern Pacific Hockey League. They beat Eugene 6-5 last Saturday. Joe Bordak scored three goals, including the game-winner with six minutes left. Eugene scored all five of its goals in the third period, erasing a 4-0 deficit. Cody Larkin, Cody Dettman and Elijah Bordak also scored for Vancouver.
• The Vipers have traded Joe Bordak, Avik Bordak and Elijah Bordak to Southern Oregon of the Western State Hockey League. Daniel Bordak remains with the Vipers.
Vipers coach Keith Bemis said the trade was made because the Bordaks — who live in Vancouver and are among the better forwards in the NORPAC — could not afford to pay the $5,500 per player fee to play this season for the Vipers. Benis said Southern Oregon had sponsorship money to assist the Bordaks with the cost of playing.
Bemis said the Vipers will receive between three and five players from Southern Oregon, with most expected to arrive next week.
Bemis said the Bordaks left the Vipers on good terms and could return to their hometown team in the future if they don’t sign with higher-level teams.