Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hawks Playing Waiting Game/ Wednesday News and Links

Portland continues to have to wait to see who their second round opponent will be. This is because, Seattle, who had a 3 game to 0 lead in the series, has now dropped 3 straight, leading to tonight's game 7 in Kelowna. Seattle also had a a 3-1 lead in the first period at home last night, before losing after Myles Bell scored over 10 minutes into overtime.

Kelowna is the #2 seed and Seattle is the #7. Because the WHL, reseeds after each round depending on seed, the Hawks could play one of two teams. If Seattle wins, the Hawks will ge them. If Kelowna completes the comeback, the Hawks will get the #4 seed (lowest seed left) Spokane Chiefs instead. Spokane beat Tri City in 5 games and so has not played since last Saturday.

Portland has got to feel comfortable against either team as they have a 10-2 record vs. the Thunderbirds and a 7-2 record against the Chiefs. They outscored Seattle 64-32 in the season series and Spokane 45-20.

Regardless, Portland will start the second round Friday night at the Coliseum and Saturday night at the Rose Garden. Both games are at 7pm and tickets are now on sale.

If Kelowna completes the big comeback, then they will be one of only two WHL teams that have come back from a 3-0 series deficit to advance. The other team to do so: the 1996 Spokane Chiefs, led by future NHLers Trent Whitfield and Brent Podollan. They did it against your beloved Todd Robinson and Richard Zednik led Portland Winterhawks. Spokane was the #1 seed in the West and Portland was the #6, in that first round series.

If Seattle wins the series it will be the biggest upset in WHL history based on regular season points. Seattle had 50 less regular season points then Kelowna. The biggest upset so far was in 2007 when the Prince George Cougars, with Devon Setoguchi had 37 less points and beat the Everett Silvertips with Peter Mueller.

News and Links:
-Jesse Lees was knocked out of game 6 for the Rockets after a high hit to the head from Justin Hickman. Lees did not return and Hickman received a 5 minute major and a game misconduct. Connor Honey is already sitting out 3 games due to a hit he game Kelowna D-man McKenzie Johnston in Game 4. Johnston is out for the year. Regan Bartel has a piece about the hit and Game 6 here.
-Andrew Eide's article about Brandon Glover's 55 save performance in Game 6.
-Kelowna is down to 4 defenseman, if Lees can't go. One of their D-men is a 16 year old.
-In former Winterhawk news: Jason Labarbera made 39 saves on Tuesday night for his 3rd win of the season, 3-1 over the L.A. Kings.
Jason Labarbera Hawk from 1996-2000

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