Junior hockey report 1/18

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Portland Winterhawks

This week: Host Lethbridge at 7 p.m. Friday (Rose Garden); visit Seattle at 7:05 p.m. Saturday; host Spokane at 3 p.m. Monday (Coliseum); visit Spokane at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday and on Friday, Jan. 25.

Last week: Beat Spokane 5-2, won 8-0 at Everett.

Where they stand: At 37-5-1-0, the Winterhawks have the Western Hockey League's best record and 75 points from 43 games. Kelowna (67 points in 45 games) and Edmonton (65 points in 44 games) have the next-best marks. Portland is 18 points up on second-place Spokane in the U.S. Division. In the Canadian Hockey League top-10, Portland moved up to second this week behind top-rated Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and ahead of the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

Wins keep coming: The Winterhawks have won 14 consecutive games, one shy of the franchise record of 15 in a row set twice.

Top prospects game: Nic Petan scored a goal on Wednesday to help Team Orr win the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects Game at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fellow Winterhawks Seth Jones and Oliver Bjorkstrand each had an assist in the game. All three are expected to be available for the Winterhawks on Friday against Lethbridge.

Jones No. 1: Seth Jones is the top-ranked skater from North America in the National Hockey League's Central Scouting midterm rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft. Bjorkstrand is ranked No. 29 and Petan, who leads the WHL in scoring with 74 points, is No. 34. Brendan Burke is rated No. 13 among North American draft-eligible goalies.

Rutkowski player of week: Winterhawks captain Troy Rutkowski was named the WHL Player of the Week for last week. The defenseman had six goals and four assists in four games, along with a plus-8 rating. Rutkowski is four games shy of the franchise record for games played, having participated in 322, including 211 in a row.

Tickets available: Single-game tickets are now on sale for the Winterhawks' final nine home games in February and March. Visit Winterhawks.com, or call 503-236-4295 for details.

Vancouver Vipers

This week: Host Eugene at 7:35 p.m. Sunday at Mountain View Ice Arena.

Last week: Lost 7-5 to visiting Tri-City.

Where they stand: At 2-25, Vancouver is last in the six-team Northern Pacific Hockey League.Tickets: Vipers tickets cost $5, $3 for students with school IDs.

Miscellaneous

Trevor Cheek update: Vancouver native Trevor Cheek has one goal in three games since being traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings. He has 19 goals and 15 assists in 43 games overall this season.

NHL drops puck: The National Hockey League starts its abbreviated season on Saturday. KGW TV will have a game at noon Saturday, with Chicago visiting defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles.