The Hawks’ Nest

One for the ages last night
December 30, 2009, 11:39 am
Filed under: Winterhawks | Tags:

As of about 6 p.m. last night, the Winterhawks had three players at the arena. The game, of course, had been scheduled for 7 p.m. So yeah, it was a strange night.

The surprise snow storm that caused panic in the streets wreaked havoc with yesterday’s game, resulting in a unique night we hope we don’t have a repeat of any time soon.

At various times there were rumors that players had given up on driving and were taking the Max, radio broadcasts were supposedly saying the game was canceled, the WHL’s live Web stream said the game was cancelled, and oh yeah, we had no referees.

While I can’t confirm whether players actually took the Max (I didn’t hit the locker room last night for quotes so I didn’t get a chance to ask), there were any number of other oddities that took place:

-The refereeing crew, coming mostly from the Seattle/Everett area, were stuck in traffic and had no hope of arriving at the Rose Garden in time. To their eternal credit, the local guys packed their gear and gave up a night off to brave the traffic and work a game they hadn’t spent any time mentally or physically preparing for. It led to an odd situation midway through the first period when the original crew finally made it, leading to a referee shift change.

-In addition to the on-ice refs, the off-ice officials were working with a skeleton crew as well. Their contributions can’t be overlooked- they run the clocks, the scoreboard, the penalty boxes, keep score and update the WHL stats in real time. But short a few bodies, we had our Sponsorship VP Sam Hicks working the Spokane penalty box in the first period, and WAHA coach Ben Stadey doing plus/minus.

-At one point, reports started coming in that a local radio station was reporting the game canceled. Only problem was, we didn’t know which station. Since there’s dozens of stations in the metro area, it was a needle in a haystack trying to sort out who was saying what, leading to numerous phone calls and e-mails trying to set the record straight. Speaking of radio, the conditions prevented a board operator from getting to Freedom 970’s studio, meaning we couldn’t get the game on radio.

-And speaking of broadcasts, we found out at one point the WHL live stream was saying the game had been canceled. Just another fire to put out.

-Of course, while all of these things were happening we had to figure out when, or even if, the game would start. By 7:45 we had enough players at the rink to field a team (as Tayler Jordan and Oliver Gabriel came sprinting in from the parking lot), and the decision was made at that point to start at 8:45.

Not a typical Tuesday night game.

At any rate, it ended up being a great game, and Brad Ross and Ryan Johansen continued their amazing hot streak. With four points last night Ross has moved atop team scoring with 43 points. He had six points in the home-and-home set with the Chiefs over the last three days, and has put up 12 points in his last six games. Johansen had three points last night, and has 15 in 10 games this month. He’s now tied for fourth among WHL rookies in scoring.

For fans who couldn’t make it last night, we will honor your tickets at an upcoming game. Come by the Winterhawks ticket office or the Rose Quarter box office and you’ll be provided seats to a future regular season game.


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