Junior hockey report: Winterhawks top U.S. Division by two

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



Portland Winterhawks

This week: Idle until Dec. 27 game at Tri-City.

Last week: Lost 3-2 at Seattle; beat Seattle 5-3; lost to Everett 4-2.

Where they stand: At 23-8-2-2, the Winterhawks have 50 points. They lead the U.S. Division by two points over Everett. Kelowna now has eight more points than Portland from two fewer games, strengthening the Rockets lead in the Western Conference. Portland is fifth in this week’s top-10 for all three CHL junior hockey leagues as voted by NHL scouts. Kelowna is second and Calgary is eighth.

International duty: With the 2014 IIHF World Juniors Championships running Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Sweden, the Winterhawks will likely be without Team Canada players Taylor Leier, Nic Petan and Derrick Pouliot, who are among the 25 players at Canada’s junior national team selection camp. Playing for Denmark in the IIHF under-20 Division I Group A tournament in Poland, Oliver Bjorkstrand has three goals and two assists to lead Denmark in scoring through four games, all wins. Layne Viveiros (Austria) had one assist through four games.

Leipsic suspended: Winterhawks forward Brendan Leipsic received a seven-game suspension from the WHL for a center-ice hit that knocked out Seattle’s Keegan Kolesar on Dec. 14. He served the first game on Tuesday and will miss the next six games after the holiday break.Promotions update: A total of 11,862 stuffed animals were collected at the annual Teddy Bear Toss game Dec. 14.

• On Dec. 28, the first 8,000 fans at the game against Tri-City receive a Mount Hood Meadows ski lift ticket.

• On Dec. 31, fans are welcome to stay at the Moda Center for a post-game skate with the Winterhawks after the 8 p.m. game against league-leading Kelowna. Fans can bring their own skates or rent them that day at the Winterhawks Skating Center in Beaverton.

Fort Vancouver Vipers

This week: 7:35 p.m. on Friday at Eugene; 7:35 p.m. Saturday vs. Eugene at Mountain View Ice Arena.

Last week: Lost twice to Bellingham, 10-1 and 6-0.Where they stand: At 0-19, the Vipers are last in the five-team NPHL.