The Portland Winterhawks had just one game this week on Friday against the unbeaten Vancouver Giants. The Hawks, who had won two games at home, would play Vancouver and then would be off a week in preparation for the Central Swing.
The Hawks, after their strong win over Tri-City and a tough, gritty win over Kamloops, traveled to Vancouver for a match against the Giants. Clay Hanus started it off for Portland with a powerplay goal just over five minutes in. Milos Roman tied it up for the Giants just ten seconds later. Three minutes later, Tyson Kozak scored his first of two goals in the game as the Winterhawks took a 2-1 lead after twenty minutes.
The Hawks increased that lead just under five minutes in as Lane Gilliss tallied another powerplay goal. Tyson Kozak added his second of the game just under two minutes later and Portland held a three-goal lead. Portland was only able to ice 15 skaters in the third period due to injuries and only allowed Vancouver one goal, that being a powerplay goal, early in the third period. Tristan Neilsen added that helper, but despite the advantages Vancouver had, they were not able to close the gap and fall 4-2 to Portland. Portland is now the last team with a perfect record and will put that to the test as they face the teams in the Central Division beginning on Friday.
The CHL also ranked its Top Ten teams with (1) Ottawa 67’s, (2) Chicoutimi Sagueneens, (3) Saskatoon Blades, (4) Edmonton Oil Kings, (5) Sherbrooke Phoenix, (6) Vancouver Giants, (7) Barrie Colts, (8) Saginaw Spirit, (9) London Knights, and (10) Halifax Mooseheads, with honourable mention to the Cape Breton Eagles, Portland Winterhawks, and Kitchener Rangers. The rankings were supplied two days before the Hawks win.
The week prior, the CHL ranked teams through the Coach’s poll as the regular season started. You will see how Ottawa jumped up, Saskatoon remained the same and the Vancouver Giants jumped too, though that will change a bit when the rankings are released this Wednesday. The volatility of the rankings so early only serves to prove that they mean nothing until several weeks have gone by. Players being traded, coming back from NHL camps etc, means a great deal to teams as well. As one can see from the rankings, London took a big hit dropping from first to ninth place in a week. These are the rankings from just prior to the season.
(1) London Knights, (2) Chicoutimi Sagueneens, (3) Saskatoon Blades, (4) Ottawa 67’s, (5) Kamloops Blazers, (6) Halifax Mooseheads, (7) Saginaw Spirit, (8) Edmonton Oil Kings, (9) Sherbrooke Phoenix, and the (10) Vancouver Giants, with honorable mention to the Peterborough Petes, Moncton Wildcats, and Calgary Hitmen.
Former Winterhawk Ryan Hughes, who was traded during the Eastern Swing last year to Saskatoon, found himself traded again, this time to Kamloops. Though Hughes is an overage forward, his market value was relatively high. In his debut with Kamloops, he recorded a pair of goals and was named the first star of the game. He failed to hit the tally sheet in his next game though.
Portland announced its launch of the TikTok Channel app this week as they look to reach a younger audience. They will be featuring behind-the-scenes footage, players personalities and key moments in the community and on ice. Similar to Vine, which was the major platform years ago, TikTok will carry short video forms and hopes to connect to a global audience.The application allows users to create short music and lip-sync videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds.