Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday News and Links

The Portland Winterhawks could be heading into an insane environment when they head up to Victoria for games this Sunday and Tuesday night. Victoria's had 2 games against the leaders in the B.C. Division: Kamloops and Kelowna on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Jamie Crooks of Victoria and Josh Connolly of Kamloops battle for a puck
First, against Kemloops, they were out-shot 33-12 and were down 6-0, barely into the 3rd period. Then things got crazy in Kamloops, as Victoria Defenseman Keegan Kanzig was given a 10 minute misconduct 3:22 into the 3rd. He then was given another misconduct after a fight with 9 seconds left in the game. Also, Kamloops Forward Kale Kessy was reportedly choked by Victoria enforcer Tim Traber, passing out on the ice. He awoke with a large red mark around his neck.

Kanzig, Traber and Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry have all been suspended by the league. The length of the suspension has not yet been determined. One thinks that Traber is probably done for the year, following a thorough WHL investigation into the incident. If the play-offs started today the Royals and Blazers would tangle in the 1st round.

After this eventful, night, the Royals somehow forced the team with the 3rd best record in the WHL, to the shoot-out, the next night in Kelowna.

They very nearly came away with a win in regulation, until Kelowna D-man Madison Bowey potted his 12th of the year, with only 48 seconds left in the game. Then Rockets Goalie Jordon Cooke stopped all 5 shooters he faced, while Rourke Chartier gave Kelowna the win when he scored on their 5th attempt.

Victoria has a game on Friday at home vs. Vancouver before the 2 games with the Hawks, to conclude their 5 games in 8 nights.

I will update as soon as there is word on how long the suspensions are.

If the Rockets had lost in regulation, Portland would have had the, regular season Western Conference title clinched, but instead will have to wait to see if  Kamloops will beat Kelowna on Friday. If the Blazers, who are 3 points back of the Rockets in the B.C. Division, win in regulation, the Hawks will have home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference play-offs.

Edmonton, after winning in Regina 6-3 Wednesday, is 8 points back of the Hawks, for the Scotty Munro trophy, with 5 games left.

Seattle won in Spokane 4-2, vaulting Everett for 7th in the West. If the play-offs started today, the Hawks would be facing the Tips in the first round. Portland finished the season series 9-1 against Everett.

-Former Winterhawk Fraser McLaren made short work of David Dziurzynski last night. The video is to the left.
-Portland Tribune piece about the Hawks looking forward to a long play-off run.
-Kamloops Daily News looks at the insanity from Tuesday night
-.Another Tribune article about the Hawks, who have 156 Goals against, nearing the team record of 196, set by the 1996-97 squad.

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