Portland Winterhawks Start Camp As 2022-2023 Season Approaches

The Portland Winterhawks broke camp and brought 35 players to the Everett Tournament, including four goaltenders. 

The first game saw both Luke Brunen and Donivan Bodnar between the pipes in a 5 to 0 losing end to Seattle, who played their top goaltender in the game. 

The next night saw Portland face Everett, where Dante Giannuzzi faced 25 shots through 30 minutes of action, making 24 saves showing his desire to be here. Luke Brunen rode the rest of the way for the Hawks. They did lose 4 to 2 and were outshot 48 to 16. Everett went 1 for 6 on the powerplay, and Portland at 1 for 5. 

People put a heavy load on preseason games regarding score; however, the players’ play will confirm roster selections. 

With games next week, most of the Hawks squad will be made up of younger players as the NHL camps will come calling. 

The Hawks saw three signing with them just before the tournaments. 

Alex Thompson, Ryan Miller, and Kyle McDonough signed standard player agreements with the team. Thompson was drafted last year and is eligible to be with the team this season at 16, 

Miller and McDonough were drafted this past year, will be assigned to Junior teams and will return to camps next year. 

A surprise leading up to camps was player Brody Tallman and goaltender Lochlan Gordon not appearing at camp. Tallman had left the team early last season, and Gordon was reassigned when the trade was made to get Taylor Gauthier. Gordon didn’t have an easy time in the net for the Hawks, registering a 4-3 record with a .896 save percentage. He returned to the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the AJHL, playing in 7 games with a 2 and 4 record and a .884 save percentage. He is going to play for the Bismarck Bobcats in the Central Division of the NAHL in North Dakota. 

What that has left the Hawks with are Jan Spunar and Dante Giannuzzi as the top goaltenders, with Donovan Bodnar and Luke Brunen, who both played in the first game of the Everett tournament in a losing cause. Bodnar at 17 and Brunen at 17 are heirs to the goalkeeping of the future. 

Dante remains on the bubble with being part of four Winterhawks at the age of 20. Teams are only allowed to keep three 20-year-old players as of October 10. Others are Kurtis Smythe, Robbie Fromm-Delorme, and Tyson Kozak. Kozak has been signed by the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL and has the best shot at being retained by the club either in the NHL or AHL.  

The Winterhawks also announced that two Winterhawks alumni have signed on with the Calgary Wranglers of the AHL. Mackenzie Skapski, who played in Kootenay and was a scout of goaltenders in Portland for two seasons, and Daniel Johnston, who played with the Winterhawks for two seasons from 2008-2010. Skapski resumes his role as goaltending coach there and Johnson as video coach.  

Team Rattie picked up the duke as the Neely Cup champions beating out Team Carruth in an eleven-round shootout as camp ended. 

The Hawks will play two games in Tri-City as part of their tournament next weekend and, just before that, will play the Spokane Chiefs in a special game at Eastern Washington University on Thursday, September 15. They play the Chiefs again on Friday the 16th as part of the Tri-City tournament before facing the host Tri-City Americans on the 17th.  

The regular season begins on September 23 when they travel to Kamloops to face the Memorial Cup host Blazers and then go to Kelowna to battle the Rockets before their first home game on Saturday, October 1. 

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About Stuart Kemp 286 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.