The way teams have decided over the past few seasons is to create what is known as a leadership team. They will run with 4 Assistant or Alternate Captains and one regular Captain of the team.
One of the Hawks’ new owners, Michael Kramer, led a Zoom broadcast where the leadership team was announced. President Doug Piper and General Manager and Coach Mike Johnston introduced 44-year Season ticketholder Ardyce Moore as the spokesperson for the big unveiling.
Your Alternate Captains are Jaydon Dureau, Seth Jarvis, Reese Newkirk, and Mason Mannek. Your Captain will be Nick Cicek ( pronounced Chee Check).
Nick has an interesting story with his being announced as the 45th Captain of the team.
At 20 years old, he is the normal following of an older player announced to the position. Mike Johnston generally does not choose a younger player but has nodded to a 19-year-old in the past. Generally, Mike has chosen the player as drafted by an NHL team while Cicek is yet undrafted. Cicek also is the first player as captain that has been sent down a level during the season. It shows the type of player Cicek is.
After being drafted by the Winterhawks in the seventh round in 2015, Nick debuted in the 2017 season. He was often scratched with very prominent defensemen on the team and was sent back to Winnipeg after playing just seven games. He would play the remainder of Winnipeg’s season for the Blues in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League with 34 games under his belt, 6 goals, 10 assists, and 104 Penalty Minutes.
He returned to Portland again the following year, still only getting into just 44 games, but he was confident and tough in every game he got into. The following year it was 63 games, with a few more penalty minutes, but even stronger. His dad would accompany him to training camp as his major supporter and appear at several games throughout the season.
Now, with the pandemic shortened season going on, Nick looks forward to making this year even stronger than ever. As Captain, he will be hard-pressed not to be looked at by scouts on NHL teams who will find Nick is a great fit for their team.
The Portland Winterhawks will begin their 24 game “season” in Kennewick as they face the Tri-City Americans. Their games to face Seattle will be the following day and will have 1 road date listed as “home” on March 21 when they face Spokane in Seattle on March 21 before they become an official “home team” on March 26 when they play Everett. They are playing back-to-back games against Spokane on April 9 and 10 in Spokane and as the Home Team on March 21 in Seattle, April 14, and May 8 in Portland.
The Eastern Division, in keeping up their schedule in their bubble of all seven teams, ran a couple of games early in the week. Winnipeg Ice got past the Swift Current Broncos 6-4 on a night that the Ice had built up sizeable leads, but it wasn’t until near the end of the third period, where they scored with a handful of seconds left while on the powerplay, that they finally secured victory. Winnipeg controlled the shot tally at 38-18, scoring twice on the powerplay on five chances and blanking the Broncos on their four opportunities. The Broncos were down as many as four goals to Winnipeg before battling back to within one before the powerplay to seal the deal. Swift Current registered just one shot in the first period of the game.
The next night, Prince Albert Raiders defeated Brandon Wheat Kings 5-3, where both teams scored twice with the Man Advantage, with the Raiders getting five tries, the Wheat Kings with six. Brandon held a strong 37-24 shots on goal advantage but couldn’t catch up to the Raiders’ offense.
Moose Jaw Warriors needed overtime to get a 5-4 victory on the Regina Pats. Both teams scored one powerplay goal, each with Moose Jaw with five chances, Regina with three. Regina held a 43-32 shots advantage, including 18 in the first period, where they blasted off to a 4 goal first. The goals were the only ones the Pats got for the rest of the game.
The Eastern Division will be running games throughout the week to catch up and expect the same for the other Divisions to ensure all the games get in.