Friday, March 15, 2013

Top 10 Winterhawk Seasons

Every once in awhile, I will have a top 10 Winterhawk's list. My opinion is factored in these lists, as well as stats and the overall success of the team.

Because of the success of this years Portland Winterhawk's squad(going for team records in wins and points), it got me thinking about the most successful years of the franchise. Today's top 10 list will look into those teams and rank them accordingly. Note: this year was not factored into the list.

Honorable Mention:
1980-81 Season
Jim Benning
Finished the regular season second in the West Division with a 56-15-1 record for 113 points. Both wins and points still stand as franchise records. This franchise record was over shadowed by a crushing sweep from the Victoria Cougars in the Western final. This team was lead by Jim Benning and Ken Yaremchuk with 139 and 135 points respectively.

#10- 1988-89 Season
Won the regular season Western Conference title with a 40-28-4 record for 84 points. They were swept by the eventual Memorial Cup champion: Swift Current Broncos in the WHL Championship. Dennis Holland set the team record, that still stands today, when he scored 167 total points.

#9- 2000-01 Season
Marcel Hossa and Jozef Balej
Finished second in the West Division with a 37-27-5 record for 82 points. This team made a nice run to the WHL finals before falling to the 2001 Memorial Cup champion Red Deer Rebels in 6 games. This was Mike Williamson's first full year as Portland's head coach. Leading the team in scoring was Marcel Hossa with 90.

#8- 2010-11 Season
Ryan Johansen
This team would continue the Mike Johnston re-birth era with it's first 50 win season in 23 years winning the West Title with a 50-19-0-0-3 record for 103 points. This Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter lead team would make a deep playoff run before they were upset in the WHL final by the Kootenay Ice 4 games to 1.

#7- 1992-93 Season
Adam Deadmarsh
After 3 straight seasons of either missing the playoffs or losing in the first round, Adam Deadmarsh and Colin Foley lead this team to a 45-24-3 regular season record, winning the Western Conference title. They would only lose 1 game over the first 3 rounds of the playoffs, in Ken Hodge's last season behind the bench, before falling in 7 games in the WHL final to the Swift Current Broncos.

#6 1986-87 Season
Dave Archibald
They went 47-23-2 for 96 points. 17 year olds Dennis Holland and Dave Archibald would lead the Hawks to the WHL final, getting sweet revenge on the Kamloops Blazers on the way(Kamloops had ended Portland's season 3 straight years in the playoffs). They would lose in 7 games to the eventual Memorial Cup Champion: Medicine Hat Tigers.

#5 1978-79 Season
This year the WCHL would shorten it's name to the WHL and in only it's 3rd year Portland would go 49-10-13 for 111 points and win the West Division. Mike Toal, with 121 points and Perry Turnbull, with 118 points would pave the way for the Hawks to make a deep playoff run, all the way to the WHL championship where they would lose in 6 games to Brandon.

#4 2011-12 Season
Ty Rattie
 Portland finished second in the Western Conference and U.S. Division to Tri City, with a 49-19-3-1 record, but would win when it mattered, sweeping the Americans in the Western Conference Final. This would set up a match up against the Edmonton Oil Kings, where they would play an epic series that ended with Edmonton winning the 7th game at home. Ty Rattie finished 3rd in league scoring with 121 points.

#3 1981-82 Season
Ken Yaremchuk
Portland would advance to it's first Memorial Cup this year after finishing with a 46-24-2 record for 94 points, lead by Ken Yaremchuk's 157 points. They would defeat Regina in 5 games in the final heading to Hull, Quebec for the Cup. Kitchener of the OHL and Sherbrooke of the QMJHL would prove to much, however, as the Hawks would finish with a 2-2 record, losing in the tie-breaker game to Sherbrooke 7-3.

#2 1982-83 Season
Mike Vernon
A year after losing in the Memorial Cup, the Hawks would have another great season: finishing with 50-22 record for 100 points. They would advance all the way to the WHL final, before tasting defeat again, this time in the form of a 4 games to 1 loss to Lethbridge. The Hawks were hosting the Cup, however, and after taking advantage of an odd league rule and poaching the league's best goalie: Mike Vernon, they would win the Memorial Cup with an 8-3 win over the OHL's Oshawa Generals.

#1 1997-98 Season
15 season after winning their first cup, the Hawks would hoist the chalice again. This time they finished with a 53-14-5 regular season record, lead by career scoring leader Todd Robinson's 109 points and stellar play from goalie Brent Belecki. The Hawks would advance after sweeping Brandon in the WHL final and would then go on to win the Cup after defeating the OHL's Guelph Storm in overtime in the final.

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