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Old 04-02-2013, 10:58 PM
 
5,765 posts, read 10,923,802 times
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After winning their opening-round series against the Everett Silvertips, the Winterhawks will play the winner of the series currently going on between the Seattle Thunderbirds and the Spokane Chiefs. This is the second of five possible rounds, as explained later. Game 1 will be at Memorial Coliseum at 7pm on Friday, April 5. Games are usually broadcast live on Portland's AM 860 KPAM.

The Oregonian's coverage of the Winterhawks

Winterhawks official site, with schedules and results

The official Western Hockey League 2013 playoff bracket

A brief guide for those unfamiliar with the team or the league:

What are the Portland Winterhawks?

The Winterhawks are a "major junior" ice hockey team, one of 22 teams in the Western Hockey League (WHL). Players are mainly aged 16 to 20, and all but two per team must be from North America.

The Winterhawks usually begin their schedule at the end of August, and play a few exhibition games before beginning a 72-game regular season (36 home/36 away) which ends in mid-March. Sixteen of the league's teams then advance to round one of the playoffs - a best-of-seven system in each round. Winterhawks home games take place at Memorial Coliseum and the Rose Garden.

The team arrived in Portland in 1976, as the Portland Winter Hawks. The space was eventually dropped in 2009, becoming simply "The Winterhawks." The Winter Hawks had been moved from Edmonton, Alberta, where they had been known as the Edmonton Oil Kings (an Edmonton Oil Kings team was re-founded in 2006, and currently plays in the WHL).

Team traditions include the Teddy bear toss, in which fans toss stuffed bears onto the ice after the first home team goal of a particular game. The bears are then collected and donated to charities for the Christmas season.

What is the WHL, and how is it organized?

The WHL is the parent league of the Winterhawks. It has teams in Oregon (1, the Winterhawks), Washington (4), British Columbia (6), Alberta (5), Saskatchewan (5), and Manitoba (1). It is composed of two "conferences" (the Eastern, with 12 teams, and the Western, with 10). Each conference has two "divisions" - the east and central in the Eastern Conference (6 teams each), and the BC and US in the Western Conference (5 teams each).

The Winterhawks are in the US division of the Western Conference, along with the Everett Silvertips, the Seattle Thunderbirds, the Spokane Chiefs, and the Tri-City Americans.

The WHL itself is one of three leagues within the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The other two are the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The leagues do not play each other during the regular season, but do have a playoff arrangement.

How do the playoffs work?

The WHL playoffs feature sixteen teams at the outset - the top eight in each of the two conferences. These teams play one another through three best-of-seven rounds, then the two conference champions play each other in a best-of-seven championship series. The winner becomes the WHL champion, and is awarded the Ed Chynoweth Cup (formerly, the President's Cup), named after former WHL and CHL president Ed Chynoweth.

The WHL's current (and defending) champions are the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Eastern Conference's Central division. They defeated the Portland Winterhawks in 2012, in a 4-3 series.

The WHL champion is then invited to the Memorial Cup Tournament, to play in a four-team round-robin tournament against the other two league champions as well as the team located in the city where the Memorial Cup is being hosted. The location changes from season to season. The tournament champion wins the Memorial Cup.

The teams each play three games, and are ranked #1-#4 based on those games. The #1-ranked team proceeds directly to the championship game, while the #3 and #4 team play one another in a tiebreaker match. The winner of the tiebreaker then plays the #2 team to determine the #1-ranked team's championship game opponent.

The current Memorial Cup holders are the Shawinigan (Quebec) Cataractes of the Quebec League. They will not, however, be repeating - they did not make the Quebec League's playoffs this season.

The 2013 Memorial Cup Tournament will be hosted by the Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Blades of the WHL's East Division of its Eastern Conference. The Blades were eliminated from the 2013 WHL playoffs by the Medicine Hat (Alberta) Tigers, but will have another chance at the Memorial Cup as host team of the tournament.

The last WHL team to win the Memorial Cup was the Spokane Chiefs, in 2008. They defeated the Kitchener (Ontario) Rangers of the Ontario League by a score of 4-1, in Kitchener itself.

How have the Winterhawks done in recent playoffs?

The Winterhawks have made the WHL championship series for the past two seasons, being defeated 4-3 by the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2012, and 4-1 by the Kootenay (BC) Ice in 2011. The Winterhawks also made it to round 2 of the 2010 playoffs before being defeated 4-2 by the Vancouver (BC) Giants.

The last Winterhawks WHL championship took place in 1998, when the team defeated the Brandon (Manitoba) Wheat Kings 4-0. The Winterhawks then went on to win the Memorial Cup, defeating the Ontario League's Guelph Storm by an overtime score of 4-3 in the final game of the tournament. The 1998 Memorial Cup was hosted by the Spokane Chiefs.

Portland itself last hosted the Memorial Cup Tournament in 1986, at Memorial Coliseum. That tournament was won by the now-defunct Guelph Platers, now the Owen Sound (Ontario) Attack.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:41 AM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,580 posts, read 2,252,906 times
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If winterhawks were major leauge they would have a bigger following. With foes like Kamloops, Brandon, Spokane and a Seattle suburb, it's hard to get excited. I don't enjoy hockey but I wish them well.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Portland
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Not a big hockey fan, but the wife and I went to our first Winterhawks game last Saturday... other than the final score, it was a good time. Though it was far from a sell out, the crowd was into it pretty good.

Pretty sure we'll be back again, just wish the beer wasn't so over-priced!
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Oregon
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Go Winterhawks!
Will Oregon ever get an NHL team??
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:24 PM
 
5,765 posts, read 10,923,802 times
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Well... the Winterhawks finished off their series against Spokane 4-0, and will face the Kamloops (BC) Blazers in the Western Conference Championship. The winner advances to the WHL title series, to face either the Edmonton Oil Kings or the Calgary Hitmen.

The series schedule looks like this:

Game 1: Friday, April 19. Home game. 7pm at Memorial Coliseum.
Game 2: Saturday, April 20. Home game. 7pm at Memorial Coliseum.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 23. Away game. 7pm at the Interior Savings Centre (Riverside Coliseum) in Kamloops, BC.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 24. Away game. 7pm at the Interior Savings Centre.
Game 5: Friday, April 25. Home game. 7pm at the Rose Garden.
Game 6: Sunday, April 28. Away game. 6pm at the Interior Savings Centre.
Game 7: Tuesday, April 30. Home game. 7pm at the Rose Garden.

Games 5-7 only if necessary, of course.

Winterhawks games are on AM 860 KPAM. If you want to hear the games from the opposing side, they'll be carried on 610 AM Radio NL (CHNL).

Quote:
If winterhawks were major leauge they would have a bigger following.
Probably. However, for a minor-league team, they do well. I don't think there are any near-term proposals to bring an NHL team to Portland. If anything, the next place to get one would be Quebec City, Quebec - they actually had an NHL team (the Nordiques) until they moved to Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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Portland won the Western Conference Championship 4-1, and will face a rematch of last season's league championship series against the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Oil Kings beat the Calgary Hitmen in a tough 4-3 series. The games begin on Friday (May 3), at the Rose Garden.

Game 1: Friday, May 3. Home game. 7pm at the Rose Garden.
Game 2: Saturday, May 4. Home game. 7pm at the Rose Garden.
Game 3: Tuesday, May 7. Away game. 6pm at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta.
Game 4: Wednesday, May 8. Away game. 6pm at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta.
Game 5: Friday, May 10. Home game. 7pm at the Rose Garden.
Game 6: Sunday, May 12. Away game. 3pm at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta.
Game 7: Monday, May 13. Home game. 7pm at the Rose Garden.

The Oil Kings are carried on Edmonton's CFRN 1260 AM ("The Team").
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Oregon
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Congrats Winterhawks

Keep going!!
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:45 AM
 
9,965 posts, read 15,983,229 times
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I'm probably going to go to a game on Friday or Saturday--and if they don't sweep, maybe try to get tickets to the finals if it returns to Portland--it'd be cool to see them win a championship. Especially since I was at the Rose Garden when they lost in the finals to the Kooteney Ice two years ago--and I witnessed the opposing team getting the championship cup...

On another note, I saw that a lot of people are predicting Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones will be taken as the #1 pick in the NHL draft this year. Along with Derrick Pouliot who was taken in the first round by Pittsburgh last year(though is still playing) and Nicolas Petan(who is also predicted to go in the first round)--and the Winterhawks are becoming a prime ground for future NHLers.

Basically the Winterhawks are akin to the level of play of a good college football or basketball team--since college hockey isn't as big outside New England and the Upper Midwest in the USA, junior league teams like the Winterhawks are where a lot of the top draft picks come from. So the WHL playoffs--along with the Memorial Cup who the winner will play for against the winner of the OHL and QMHL--is really sort of like March Madness for Canadians(since except for the Pacific Northwest teams in Oregon and Washington, all the teams are from Canada). Though the Winterhawks have a good solid fanbase in Portland, despite the fact that they get little media attention.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,038 posts, read 32,434,706 times
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Awesome, I always loved watching Winterhawks games....though I always thought it was odd that their logo is basically the Chicago Blackhawks logo.

It would be cool to see Portland get an NHL team.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:54 PM
 
5,765 posts, read 10,923,802 times
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So... the Winterhawks won their series and won the league championship in Edmonton today, in game six, by a score of 5-1. There will be a team celebration at Pioneer Square at noon on Tuesday, May 14.

This means the Winterhawks get an invitation to the Memorial Cup tournament in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They will compete in a round-robin tournament against the host team Saskatoon Blades, the Halifax Mooseheads (Quebec League champions), and whoever wins the Ontario League championship (the Barrie, Ontario Colts and the London, Ontario Knights play a game seven on Monday, May 13).

Portland's next three games are already scheduled:

Saturday, May 18 - Portland vs. Halifax, 4pm Pacific time
Monday, May 20 - Portland vs. Barrie/London, 5pm
Wednesday, May 22 - Portland vs. Saskatoon, 5pm

All games are held at Saskatoon's Credit Union Centre stadium.
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