Junior hockey report: Winterhawks still rolling, clinch playoffs

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



Portland Winterhawks

This week: 7 p.m. Friday at Kamloops; 7 p.m. Saturday at Vancouver; 7 p.m. Tuesday vs. Prince George (Memorial Coliseum); 7 p.m. Feb. 21 vs. Kamloops (Memorial Coliseum).

Last week: Beat Tri-City 10-3, beat Everett 5-3, beat Prince George 8-4, beat Prince George 6-4.

Where they stand: At 40-12-2-3, the Winterhawks have 85 points. Portland clinched a playoff berth with Wednesday’s win at Prince George. The Winterhawks lead by 10 points over Seattle in the U.S. Division. Kelowna owns the best record in the league (45-8-0-4, 94 points). Portland is fourth in this week’s top-10 for all three CHL junior hockey leagues as voted by NHL scouts. Kelowna remains No. 1 in that poll, Edmonton is No. 5 and Victoria is No. 10.

Win streak record looms: The Winterhawks have won 14 consecutive games. A win on Friday at Kamloops would tie the club’s record of 15 consecutive wins, matching streaks in 1979-80 and 1997-98.

Hawks on Root Sports: Friday’s game at Kamloops will be televised live by Root Sports.

Hawks in Sochi: Former Winterhawks Marian Hossa (Slovakia), Marcel Hossa (Slovokia) and Nino Niedereitter (Switzerland) are playing in the Olympic hockey tournament. Marcel Hossa had an assist on Slovakia’s only goal in Thursday’s 7-1 loss to the United States. A total of 31 former WHL players are on Olympic teams.

Petan top scorer: Nic Petan now leads the WHL in points with 95 (30 goals, 65 assists). Since returning from the World Junior Championships, Petan has 29 points in 16 games and has points in 10 consecutive games. He passed Spokane’s Mitch Holmberg for the league lead. Holmberg has 93 points and has played in nine more games than Petan. Petan and teammate Brendan Leipsic shared the league scoring title last season (120 apiece). Leipsic is 10th in points with 70 (31 goals, 39 assists) in 45 games. Leipsic has 26 points in 16 games since returning from a seven-game suspension. Portland’s Oliver Bjorkstrand is third in points at 84 (40 goals, 44 assists).

Power play clicking: The Winterhawks’ power play is scoring a league-best 27.1 percent of the time. Their 72 power-play goals is 10 more than Brandon’s second-best power play has produced. In Monday’s win at Prince George, Portland scored four power-play goals and two shorthanded goals. Taylor Leier had one shorthanded goal and assisted on Dominic Turgeon’s short-handed goal. Leier had a four-point game and Chase De Leo had two goals and three assists on Monday.

Hockey exhibit opens: The Oregon History Museum is hosting an exhibit about the history of Hockey in Portland. The exhibit opens Saturday and will be displayed through April 1. The museum is at 1200 S.W. Park Ave. in downtown Portland. Details at www.ohs.org.

Fort Vancouver Vipers

This week: 7:35 p.m. Saturday vs. Bellingham (Mountain View Ice Arena); noon Wednesday vs. West Sound (Mountain View Ice Arena).

Last week: Lost 8-1 to West Sound on Feb. 7; Feb. 8 game postponed until Feb. 19 because of weather.

Where they stand: At 0-36, the Vipers are last in the five-team NPHL. Bellingham (31-5) and West Sound (28-4-1-2) are the only teams with winning records.

Four games left: The Vipers play their four remaining games at Mountain View Ice Arena, including a makeup match at noon on Wednesday against West Sound.