Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday's Portland Winterhawks' News and Notes: Austin Gray Reassigned

Austin Gray Listed as "Deleted" From Roster on Weekly Report:
-In this week's injury report, Austin Gray was listed as deleted from the Portland roster. It took a little while, but the roster on the Winterhawks' website finally reflected the deletion. This means that Gray was reassisgned by the Winterhawks. It is likely that he will end up playing somewhere in the BCHL. He is no longer able to play in the BCMML, where he played most of last season, due to his age (18).

The 18-year-old only was able to play in two games this year for Portland, as he battled an illness that caused him to miss playing opportunities and also appeared to have caused him to lose some weight. He played limited minutes in those two games on the fourth line, but was a plus two overall.

Gray did not play poorly and he did look like he would be a good fit on the fourth line, but simply was a victim of numbers and the recent brilliant play of Brett Clayton. Prior to reassigning Gary, Portland had 15 forwards listed on their roster and only have one (Igor Larionov II) listed on the injury list. The Hawks appear to be comfortable going with a rotation of Ryan Hughes and Brett Clayton for that last, dressed forward spot.

Carter Czaikowski was listed as out week-to-week with a lower body injury, while Blake Heinrich is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Heinrich has been a warrior for Portland this year and I would not bet that he misses even one game. If he is out of the lineup though, we could see our first 13 forward, five d-man roster tonight vs. Tri-City.

What's Going on with Igor Larionov II?:
 -Larionov II is now listed as out day-to-day with a lower body injury. He has, at different times this seaosn, been listed as out with an illness and lower body and upper body ailments. Either, Portland is consistently re-classifying his concussion issues, or he has the worst injury luck in recent memory.

Notable WHL Scores:
-Brayden Point took an awkward hit from Prince Albert's Brendan Guhle and appeared to have hurt his shoulder. It took an injury to keep Point from recording a point in his ninth straight game. Now Portland's Keegan Iverson has the longest current point streak in the WHL with eight games. In the game, Moose Jaw missed Point as they only scored one goal in a 4-1 loss to P.A. 
-Regina got goals from four different players and they beat Medicine Hat 4-2. Tyler Brown has been playing well as of late for the Pats as he's stopped at least 33 pucks in four of his last five games.
-Fourth shutout of the year for Carter Hart, who now leads the WHL. Everett got goals from Dario Winkler and Dawson Leedahl in the 2-0 road win.
-Edmonton recovered after two recent losses on their trip through B.C. After losing two straight to Prince George last weekend, they got a four point game from Lane Bauer in a 6-2 win over Vancouver. Daniel Wapple was chased from the net for his second straight game.
-Seattle got a game-tying goal that will likely be a finalist for worst goal given up in the WHL this year in a  5-4 win over Swift Current. Alexander True lobbed a dump in on net from center-ice and somehow it got through the pads of goalie Landon Bow. Swift Current could not recover from this and ultimately Seattle got the winner from Jamal Watson with under two minutes left.
-Brandon recovered from a tough weekend to beat Medicine Hat 6-2. The Tigers have lost six of their last seven games.
-Everett's win streak was halted at three as they lost in Lethbridge 4-3. Mario Petit stopped 25 of 29 shots in his first career WHL start. The Hurricanes got two goals apiece from Egor Babenko and Cory Millette in the win.
-Keegan Kanzig had his first goal since returning to the WHL and Calgary beat Prince George 3-1. 
-Rodney Southham got the overtime winner for Kelowna as they beat Kamloops 4-3. The game was sent to the extra session by a goal from Collin Shirley with only 27 seconds left. 
-The Victoria Royals got back on track, doubling up Edmonton 6-3. Matthew Phillips had a hat trick in the win.
-Swift Current is now 0-4 on their U.S. Division trip as they fell 2-1 to Tri-City. Brandon Carlo is now back in the lineup for the Americans. Parker Bowles scored the eventual game winner in the second period.
-There was another trade involving Vancouver as they dealt Jesse Roach to Edmonton for a third round pick in the 2018 Bantam Draft. Roach had left the team a couple weeks ago, requesting a trade.

Winterhawks' Prospect News:
-Unsigned prospect Keegan Karki was profiled over on SB Nation's College Hockey blog. Apparently he is visiting some colleges, but has yet to make a commitment, verbally or otherwise. The 15-year-old is already, reportedly 6'4" and fits the profile of Portland goalies currently  in the system (Adin Hill-6'4", Ethan Middendorf-6'6"). 
-Ilijah Colina had a six point game on Sunday for the Valley West Hawks of the BCMML in a 6-4 win that has launched them into a three-way tie for first place in the league.

Winterhawks' in the NHL:
-Craig Cunningham made his debut in the NHL this year for Arizona and skated 10:46 of ice time, including some time on the power play and penalty kill. Arizona lost to the N.Y. Islanders 5-2.
-Ryan Johansen had his 11th assist of the year for Columbus in their 3-1 win over St. Louis.
-Matt Dumba had an assist but Minnesota fell to Pittsburgh 4-3. Nino Niederreiter gave Penguins' defenseman Olli Maata an awkward check from behind that sent him towards the Wild bench. Maatta looked to be fairly seriously injured due to the backup goalie for the Wild opening the door at the same time Olli was hit. He was rushed to the hospital but appears to be fairly okay. Maatta should be out for 3-4 weeks with this injury, but the NHL reviewed the hit and decided that it did not warrant a suspension. This looked to be a perfect spot for Derrick Pouliot to make his season debut for the Pens, but they decided to leave him in the AHL.
-Marian Hossa notched career goal number 489 and it was the over-time winner for Chicago in a 4-3 win over Edmonton.
-Niederreiter assisted on Minnesota's first goal of the game in the Wild's 4-2 loss to Boston.

Winterhawks' in the AHL:
-Brendan Leispsic's second goal of the year was the overtime winner for the Marlies as they beat Rochester 1-0.
-Seventh goal of the year in the AHL for Ty Rattie as Chicago lost to Taylor Aronson and Milwaukee 5-3. Aronson had an assist for the Admirals in the win.
-Tyler Wotherspoon assisted on an empty net goal as Stockton shut out San Diego 4-0.

Winterhawks' in the AHL:
-Alaska Aces' captain William Wrenn scored his his first goal of the year with under a minute left and his team trailing 3-0. The comeback ultimately failed though as Cincinnati won 3-1.
-Tristan King had his third goal of the year and the year but his Allen Americans' fell to Missouri 4-1.
-In a 6-2 Alaska Aces' win over Evansville, William Wrenn had three assists. he now has four points in his last two games.
-Brett Ponich had an assist for Kalamazoo as they edged Toledo 3-2.

Notable Links:
-Another fantastic Pucklandia podcast this week. Chad visited with Dean "Scooter" Vrooman who talked about his favorite all-time Winterhawks and more.
-One of my favorite weekly, WHL radio show, available online is the Vancouver Giants this week. Play-by-play broadcaster Brendan Batchelor and the very knowledgabe Bill Wilms discuss the Giants, as well as, their game last week vs. Portland.

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