The Hawks’ Nest


The Call Answered
November 12, 2009, 4:11 pm
Filed under: Winterhawks | Tags: ,

The team was given the day off today, their second one in four days, as they go a full week between games. They’ll return to the ice tomorrow afternoon as they get set to host the defending WHL champion Kelowna Rockets Saturday, and the much-improved Chilliwack Bruins. As they get set for those contests, we can take a quick look at Portland’s U.S. Division rivals.

A few weeks ago, after the Hawks had gone 4-2 on their Central Division swing, I wrote that the successful trip set the bar for the other U.S. Division teams.

Well, at least one of those teams met it. In case you missed it last week, the Everett Silvertips matched Portland’s 4-2 record on their trip to Alberta, and actually picked up a point as one of the losses was in overtime. Then they went into Spokane a few days later and beat the Chiefs.

Another U.S. team, Tri-Cities, is in the midst of the first leg of their two Central trips, which opened with a stunning 6-1 loss in Medicine Hat last night, a result that had to put a smile on the faces of the Winterhawks. I say stunning because the Americans were on a tear that had seen them win 13 of their previous 14 games. The Americans’ incredible run had to frustrating for Hawks players, as no matter how often they won the Americans seems to match them. Tri-Cities in Lethbridge tomorrow and Cranbrook Saturday, then return home for six straight in Kennewick. They’ll return to Alberta for three games in late January/early February.

Meanwhile, you still have Spokane going along at a .583 clip, which would be good enough for second in either the B.C. or Central Divisions, but leaves them at fourth in the U.S. They split their Central trips into three: a one-gamer in Cranbrook they won in October, three games later this month, and then another three (including Kootenay again) in mid-January.

With four teams battling as closely as these four teams are, it will make every divisional game a battle here on out, as there is very little breathing room.

 

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