Winterhawks regular-season schedule announced

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The Portland Winterhawks will raise their fourth consecutive Western Conference championship banner when they open the 2014-15 season Friday, Sept. 19 at the Moda Center against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

The 2014-15 Western Hockey League schedule was released Wednesday, with the Sept. 19 game opening the Hawks’ 72-game slate. The team will play the vast majority of its home games on weekends with 31 of the 36 games scheduled for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

The Teddy Bear Toss will take place on Dec. 6 when the Hawks host the Everett Silvertips at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The venues for all games will be finalized later this summer after the Portland Trail Blazers’ schedule is released.

In addition, the team will again host Portland’s biggest New Year’s Eve party, with a Dec. 31 game at the Moda Center against the Seattle Thunderbirds at 8 p.m. Fans can stay to skate on the ice with players after the game.

Other season highlights include:

• The first home rematch of last year’s Western Conference Final against the Kelowna Rockets will be Thursday, Oct. 30.

• The Hawks will host the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday, Nov. 2 in a rematch of the last three WHL championship series.

• The curtains at Veterans Memorial Coliseum will be open on Black Friday when the team plays a 3 p.m. matinee against the Kootenay Ice.

Visit www.winterhawks.com for a complete schedule.