The Portland Winterhawks came back from Canada to learn of great news. Defenseman Troy Rutkowski is the latest Winterhawk player to sign an NHL deal. After being drafted and unsigned in 2010 by Colorado, the Ottawa Senators signed the 21-year-old Rutkowski to a standard entry level contract on Wednesday. This makes the second signing in less than two weeks as Taylor Peters, also 21, signed an entry level contract with the Dallas Stars back on March 4. Mac Carruth, 21, who is the other over-ager, signed an NHL deal with Chicago Blackhawks last season.
The Scotty Munro trophy presentation will take place as part of the annual Winterhawks Awards Presentation on Sunday, March 17. The trophy is to be presented to the Winterhawks by Richard Doerkson, who is Vice President, Hockey of the WHL. The Winterhawks have won the Scotty Munro twice. Their first came in 1979-80 and then 1997-98, which is also their last Memorial Cup victory. The Scotty Munro trophy is awarded to the WHL team with the overall best record and with it comes home ice advantage throughout the WHL playoffs.
Brendan Leipsic and Nic Petan are on pace to battle for the Bob Clarke trophy for the league scoring title with three games remaining. The last player from the Winterhawks to win it was Todd Robinson in 1996-97. Currently, Leipsic leads with 115 points, Nic Petan has 112 … Ty Rattie is at 104 points.
With the win in Victoria on Tuesday, the Winterhawks tied a WHL record with the 1999-00 Calgary Hitmen and 2008-09 Saskatoon Blades for the most road wins in a season with 28. The Hawks can set a new record in their final road game of the season Saturday in Seattle.
In addition, the Hawks have 111 points on the season, tying the 1978-79 and 1997-98 Winterhawks teams for second in team history, two points behind the team record of 113 points set in the 1980-81 season … and they still have three games to play.
First games of the playoffs will be Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 and the first road games Tuesday, March 26 and Wednesday, March 27 against either the Seattle Thunderbirds or Everett Silvertips. Though Prince George Cougars are technically and mathematically eligible for postseason contention with three games left, they would have to beat the top two BC Division teams in their final games to do so.
Ice Chips: The Portland Winterhawks Booster Club is offering for raffle 2 game worn and signed jerseys of the Hossa Brothers to be drawn at the end of the 2nd period intermission at the Sunday, March 17 home game. A limited number of tickets will be sold and the winner will get both jerseys which are framed for display. Tickets may be purchased at the Booster Club table located at Entry A-12 in the Rose Garden at both Friday's and Sunday's contests. To view the jerseys, check out this link. http://www.pwhbc.com/raffles.html
Seats are selling fast for the Friday night tilt versus Seattle Thunderbirds and Mascot Night and the Sunday 5pm contest versus Spokane Chiefs. (503) 236-HAWK (4295) to place your order and for playoff tickets which have just recently gone on sale.
Stuart Kemp is the President of the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club which works as a liaison between the Portland Winterhawks Hockey Club and its fans with fan trips, player photos and more. It's goal is to assist the WAHA Player's Education Fund and Junior Hockey Programs in the local area. http://www.pwhbc.com