Editor’s Note – This column was written prior to Governor Kate Brown’s announcement to ban events that hold larger than 250 people. No word on how this will affect The Portland Winterhawks going forward.
The Portland Winterhawks took the fourth spot in the CHL poll after two big wins over Victoria and a drubbing over Tri-City. Everett slipped a spot after splitting games with Seattle, and Edmonton fell even further to eighth place after losses to Red Deer and Spokane.
The latest poll results are as follows:
(1) Sherbrooke Phoenix, (2) Ottawa 67’s, (3) Moncton Wildcats, (4) Portland Winterhawks, (5) Everett Silvertips, (6) London Knights, (7) Chicoutimi Sagueneens, (8) Edmonton Oil Kings, (9) Saginaw Spirit, and (10) Spokane Chiefs, with honorable mention to the Kitchener Rangers, Kamloops Blazers, and Cape Breton Eagles.
The Blazers in Kamloops will look for a chance to jump in the poll this weekend, but will be hard pressed when looking at some of the teams already in the poll with impressive records.
The Coronavirus is now listed as a pandemic and no matter whose side you are on when competing against the disease, the illness seems to have spooked even the more statue of people.
In the US Division, two teams the seem to be most affected – Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds – are looking at potentially other venues and the one game Everett has at home with Victoria has just been announced as an empty arena match. No fans will be allowed in. Seattle is looking at the game vs. Portland on March 21 and no word has been given on that one.
Further away, Tri-City Americans have announced no fan involvement or appearances for their home games. Usually they have a player doing autographs post game, but that has been cut. Spokane has not yet announced their status, but similar to Tri-City, they would be looking at no fan involvement for the foreseeable future. In Portland, they are also looking at no fan involvement. The awards presentation will now only be handled by President Doug Piper. There have been other presenters who have had photos with the players when presenting their trophies, including myself for the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club Memorial Most Popular Player of the Year. They have asked that trophies arrive the week prior to be cleaned and the table they sit on be sanitized. The Booster Club will also not be doing the annual Player Yearbook presentation.
Portland has announced home ice games to start the playoffs as they control that portion of the game beginning Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The NCAA Basketball is having their tournament through Sunday at the Moda Center. Other dates to be announced.