Portland Winterhawks Draft First US Born Female Goaltender

Leading up to the Prospects draft, the Portland Winterhawks made a small deal with the Edmonton Oil  Kings. Aiden Litke was traded to the Oil Kings for a third-round bantam pick, 59th overall. Litke had played 161 games, 31-36, for 67 points. He played just 50 games this past year but registered 36 points. His removal narrows the Hawks to four from five, and they need to be at three 20-year-olds in October. Jack O’Brien, James Stefan, Gabe Klassen, and Ryan McCleary remain. Chaz Lucius, although 20, is not expected to return to the Hawks as he can now play in the AHL due to age. McCleary is the only drafted Hawk out of the group. 

In the 2023 Bantam draft, the Hawks selected 11 players with five forwards, five defensemen, and one goaltender born in 2008, which they will now seek to sign to WHL standard contracts and have them appear in Neely Cup games in August. There seemed to be nothing special about the draft until they reached round 10.  

The Winterhawks made history when they selected Morgan Stickney with the 215th overall pick. Morgan becomes the first ever US Born female player. At 15 years old, she plays for Shattuck St. Mary’s U16 program going 24-4-3 with a .928 save percentage and 1.52 goals against average. She was a runner-up at the 2023 Nationals with a .950 save percentage averaging a goal per contest. At 5’8″, 135lbs, she looks to make a mark wherever she goes. Lest you think that a low draft choice means she will quickly be forgotten, one should recall Ryan Johansen, who is now a major NHL star. He was drafted late in the 9th round of the Bantam draft. The first woman to make headlines was Manon Rheaume, who, in 1991-92, she played for the Trois Riviers Dravers of The QMJHL. She played preseason games in the NHL and, as of July 2022, was the hockey operations and prospect advisor for the Los Angeles Kings. 

The WHL Playoffs continue under a 2-3 2 format, with the first two games held in Winnipeg, three in Kent, WA, and the last ones, if needed, in Winnipeg. The teams will at least go through the three games in Kent. 

The ICE made a deal to use the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg since the Jets and AHL Moose are out of the playoffs.  

The ICE scored the first three goals, two in the first period, one early in the second, and then saw Seattle score twice in the third period, but still won 3-2. The shots favored Seattle 29-28 and 1-4 on the powerplay versus 0-2 for Seattle.  

Game two saw Winnipeg score early in the first, but then Seattle scored the next three. Zach Benson for Winnipeg scored second of the game. Seattle scored with less than three minutes left, and Winnipeg pulled goaltender Daniel Hauser twenty seconds later. They weren’t able to be Thomas Milic and instead fell 4-2 to tie the series at one apiece. Shots favored Seattle 39-31, and neither team scored on the powerplay with Seattle 0-3 and Winnipeg 0-5. The series now reverts to Kent for games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, with games Sunday and Monday, if needed, in Winnipeg. The games being played at Canada Life Centre drew 5,531 and 5,691, respectively. 

To the OHL, where London Knights and Peterborough Petes battled for the rights to play in the Memorial Cup. The Knights picked up a 3-0 shutout over the Petes in game one but fell 5-3 in game two, with the series now shifting to Peterborough on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

In the QMJHL, Quebec Remparts beat Halifax Mooseheads 5-1 in the first game before losing game 2 6-3 in Quebec. The big news out of that series is the crowd. Attendance at each game was a sellout at 18,259, and when the series heads to Halifax, they will play at an arena holding just under 11,000. If the series goes the full seven games, over 100,000 attendees will watch this series. The winner will represent QMJHL in the Memorial Cup.

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About Stuart Kemp 364 Articles
Stuart Kemp is the Immediate Past President of 15 years of the Booster Club. and has been following hockey from his native Canada since he can remember, though he can't skate, but played road hockey for several years. Loving hockey and professional wrestling, he has traveled to most of the WHL cities and with wrestling, has seen four provinces and five states. It is true that every Canadian city with more than 500 residents has a hockey rink, well at least it looks that way. Stuart has had his hand in every facet of independent Professional wrestling as he debuted as an announcer in 1986 which started his career.