Beginning of a new era for Winterhawks

Players begin fitness testing Wednesday for new coach Kompon

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

A new era begins today for the Portland Winterhawks.

New head coach Jamie Kompon will welcome players for fitness testing today before four days of scrimmages to begin the Western Hockey League team's training camp.

Thursday through Sunday, the popular Neely Cup tournament will be played at the Winterhawks Skating Center in Beaverton, Ore.

The 80 players in camp will be divided into four teams for the tournament, with games at 4 and 6 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The third-place game is at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, followed by the championship game.

The team is selling 100 tournament passes good for all eight games for $20 apiece and an additional 50 one-day passes each day for $5. Call 503-236-4295 for tickets.

From 12:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, the Toyota Hockey Family Fest will take place in the parking lot next to the Winterhawks Skating Center. The free event will include autograph opportunities, street hockey, food and other activities.

Winterhawks Skating Center is at 9250 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy in Beaverton.

It has been just more than three months since the Winterhawks season ended with a Game 7 loss to Edmonton in the Western Hockey League finals. Portland has won four consecutive conference championships.

The Winterhawks will play five preseason games, beginning with games at Everett on Aug. 29-31 against Spokane, Tri-City and Everett. On Sept. 5-6 they travel to Kennewick for games against Kootenay and Red Deer.

Portland plays five of its first six regular-season games at home, beginning on Sept. 19 against Seattle.

Kompon, a longtime National Hockey League assistant coach, takes over as head coach and general manager for Mike Johnston who was hired as head coach of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.

Vipers camp on Aug. 30 — The Fort Vancouver Vipers will hold their tryout camp on Aug. 30-31 at Mountain View Ice Arena in Vancouver. The Junior A team plays in the Northern Pacific Hockey League, which has expanded from five teams to eight for the 2014-15 season.

Former Portland Winterhawk player Jim Dobson is coaching the Vipers this season, joining last season's coach Mike Dickerman behind the bench.

Players who have not signed with the Vipers can tryout for $120 paid in advance or $150 at the camp.

For more details, send email to fortvancouvervipers@yahoo.com.