The Portland Winterhawks made the news this week on several fronts.
The Canadian Hockey League posted the latest rankings, and for the first time, Portland entered the rankings.
Winnipeg Ice and Edmonton Oil Kings remain atop the CHL ranks. Everett Silvertips are ranked third in the poll. QHJHL’s Charlottetown takes the next spot, followed by Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL; Quebec Ramparts take the sixth spot, with Portland snagging the next spot, removing Seattle Thunderbirds from their perch. Mississauga Steelheads, Sherbrooke Phoenix, and Kamloops Blazers round out the top 10. Honorable mention goes to HM. Barrie Colts, London Knights
and Soo Greyhounds all representing the OHL.
Should the Hawks do well in the three-game set this weekend, they may move up again. The ranking was bolstered on their last ten games, where they won nine and only had one shootout loss. Going back further, the Winterhawks have an even more incredible record, and it appears the CHL coaches have taken notice.
Saturday’s game against Seattle will be televised on CW 32 Cable 3 so people can watch the game on regular TV. The game starts at 6 pm. The game will undoubtedly have significant consequences in the CHL rankings, which will be out late next week.
The Hawks still have three away games to get rescheduled. Tri-City, Kamloops, and Vancouver will be reset due to the teams having COVID issues.
There has been talk in the OHL of extending the regular season, which would also affect the scheduling of the Memorial Cup, which has been set for June. There talk is that the season could extend a couple of weeks due to COVID issues which would push the Memorial Cup into July.
Four Portland Winterhawks alumni have been named for the upcoming Olympic Games. Tyler Wotherspoon (28) will don a sweater for Canada, Marcel Nobels (29)will suit up for Germany, Rodrigo Abols (26), and Rhiharts Bukarts (26) will skate with Latvia. Nobels, Abols, and Bukharts were also with their respective teams during the 2021 IIHF World Tournament.