Portland Winterhawks Falter In Continuing Dream Of Memorial Cup, Season Ends

Keith Dwiggins / Portland Winterhawks

After picking up a solid 5-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, WA, the Portland Winterhawks would lose three straight as they handed the Seattle Thunderbirds a trip to Kamloops, BC, to face the Blazers to challenge for the Western Conference Championship. 

They lost a 5-1 decision to Seattle at home and a very close 2-1 decision in Kent, WA setting up a Game 7 showdown in Portland,  

Portland held the shot advantage of the game 36-30 and scored three powerplay goals on six tries compared to Seattle being blanked on three attempts. It was a repeat of all series except for the 5-1 Hawks win, with Seattle getting the first goal. That held until the second period, with Seattle blowing it up with three goals in just over two minutes to make the score 4-0 and make things very tough on a comeback. 

Midway through the second period and towards the end of the period, Portland scored to halve the Thunderbird lead. With the clock ticking, Seattle added another goal midway through the third period, and it was nearly the fifteen-minute mark when Robbie Fromm-Delorme scored for Portland on the powerplay. 

Portland pulled Taylor Gauthier from the net with just under three minutes remaining/. Seattle’s Reid Schaefer intercepted the puck at the Seattle side of center, and while being draped by other Hawks trying to slow his progress, he used enough to shoot it towards the net for the empty-net goal and the end to the Portland Winterhawks’ season. 

With Jaydon Dureau coming back from ATO with the Syracuse Crunch, Clay Hanus, who has spent four years with the Hawks, and Taylor Gauthier, who has signed an Entry-Level Contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, are all overage and are not eligible to return to the Hawks. 

The Hawks need to pare down the overagers on the team with Robbie Fromm-Delorme, Tyson Kozak, Cross Hanas, who has signed an ELC with Detroit Red Wings, Kurtis Smythe, and Dante Giannuzzi, who will all be coming in as 20-year-olds.  

There were two drafts in as many days with a special US Priority Player draft and the Prospects draft.  In the Priority Player draft, Portland selected forward Gavin Kor and defenseman Garrett Lindberg as the 20th and 25th overall selections. 

Portland selected 11 players in the Prospects Draft. Here are the players who are planning to be in camp in August. 

Round 1, Pick 18 – Graham Jones, F

Round 2, Pick 40 – Kyle McDonough, F

Round 3, Pick 66 – Ryan Miller, F

Round 4, Pick 84 – Kayd Ruedig, D

Round 5, Pick 106 – Luke Myhre, F

Round 6, Pick 113 – Callum Stone, D 

Round 6, Pick 128 – Simon Garchinski, D

Round 9, Pick 194 – Trevor Oishi, D

Round 10, Pick 216 – Tyce Penrod, F

Round 11, Pick 238 – Griffin Brown, D 

Round 12, Pick 260 – Mario Fate, F

During the draft, the Vancouver Giants made history. At pick 268, Chloe Primerano became the first female skater ever chosen in the entire Canadian Hockey League. People are suggesting she could make some serious ripples when camps commence, and it will be interesting to see how she fares/ 

Gregg Drinnan, who posts a regular blog on the status of the CHL, is reporting the Spokane Chiefs may have an even stronger Winterhawks flare. Recently they signed Matt Bardsley as the new General Manager, and now they are setting their sights on Kyle Gustafson, who worked up his way through the ranks of the Portland Winterhawks to becoming the Assistant GM. The word is the Chiefs may look at Kyle to be their new bench boss, which could make things very interesting in the usually tight US Division. 

The WHL Semifinals begin this weekend with Seattle heading to Kamloops to face the Blazers and Edmonton Oil Kings traveling to Winnipeg to meet the ICE, which many are saying will be the one to watch.  

The Portland Winterhawks Booster Club runs its membership drive through the Memorial Cup. People can download the membership form and submit it with payment to PO Box 6768 Portland, Oregon 97228-6768. Until the conclusion of the Memorial Cup, memberships will earn an entry per person to win a team-signed stick. 

In addition, the Booster Club is organizing a trip to the Eastern Swing, with six games in 10 nights in early January. The trip has very few spots left, requiring a deposit before the end of September and final payments due by November. The trip in its current format has never been done before, which should be absolutely incredible. 

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About Stuart Kemp 285 Articles
Stuart Kemp is the President of the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club since 2008 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.