Petan 'feeling good' after injury in brawl

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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Western Hockey League conference semifinals, Game 1: Portland at Kelowna, 7:35 p.m. Friday.

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Radio: AM 860.

PORTLAND — Portland Winterhawks forward Nic Petan practiced Monday and Tuesday, and said he feels good as the team prepares for the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference finals.

On Thursday, Petan had to be helped off the ice after a brawl broke out late in the Winterhawks’ series-clinching win against Victoria. He did not skate with his teammates on Sunday, but returned to the ice on Monday and was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice.

“Yesterday felt great, today felt even better and I’m looking forward to practicing on Thursday in Kelowna,” Petan said Tuesday.

Petan would not comment about why he needed help to leave the ice after Thursday’s brawl, which ended with Petan on his back after fighting Victoria’s Ryan Gagnon. The altercation started when Petan was crosschecked in the back of the head by Victoria’s Brandon McGee.

“I’m not going to let (the injury) out there, but I’m feeling good,” Petan said.

McGee got a 12-game suspension should he return to the WHL next season. Victoria’s Steven Hodges was suspended five games for actions in an earlier Thursday fight, and the Royals organization was fined $10,000 by the WHL for actions detrimental to the league in Game 5 at Portland.

The Winterhawks, who have won three Western Conference championships in a row, leave Wednesday for Kelowna. The first two games of the highly-anticipated best-of-7 series are Friday and Saturday.

Games 3 and 4 are April 22 and 23 at the Moda Center. There is no TV in the Portland-Vancouver market for the first two games.