The Hawks’ Nest


Top Wins of 2009-10 – Honorable Mentions
April 22, 2010, 10:09 am
Filed under: Winterhawks | Tags: , ,

As mentioned yesterday, I’ve started an offseason gimmick ranking the top wins of the season, an idea stolen from a team that shall not be named. I thought I’d have a top-five and a couple of honorable mentions, but in looking at the schedule there were so many big wins I ended up with 12 (!) honorable mentions.

As such, I split them out and will begin the top 5 tomorrow. In the meantime, here are the runner-ups, in chronological order:

-October 23: 5-1 win @ Kootenay. This win capped a 4-2 Eastern road swing, a trip that Mike Johnston would later say was a big turning point as a confidence booster for the young Hawks.

-October 27: 5-4 win vs. Brandon in a shootout. In their first game back after the long road trip, the Hawks built a big lead against one of the league’s elite teams, allowed them to tie it, but showed resiliency by prevailing in a shootout. Another big step for the team.

-November 28: 5-3 win vs. Seattle. Teddy Bear Toss night, and Spencer Bennett took care of the honors just 2:52 into the game, triggering 16,321 bears onto the Rose Garden ice.

-December 29: 4-3 win vs. Spokane. It was the night of the infamous surprise snowstorm that gripped Portland, forcing a delay of nearly two hours as players, referees and fans all struggled to get to the arena. A memorable night (for better or for worse) for everyone involved.

-December 31: 6-0 win vs. Seattle. Not just a 6-0 win over Seattle in front of a packed house, but also the culmination of Brad Ross’s incredible December. He had three points on the night and finished with 20 points in 11 games in the month, an amazing run that earned him the league’s Player of the Month honors.

-January 24: 3-1 win vs. Vancouver. Although he posted three shutouts this season, Ian Curtis had perhaps his best game as a Winterhawk on this night, stopping 51 of 52 Vancouver shots as the Winterhawks downed the Giants.

-February 6: 6-3 win @ Seattle. The Hawks showed their depth on this night by getting six goals from six different scorers, with 15 players getting points.

February 10: 5-3 win vs. Tri-Cities. Portland clinched their first playoff berth in four years with this win, which also snapped a six-game losing streak to the Americans, who’d stymied Portland all season to that point. Another balanced effort with five different goal scorers and nine players accounting for 10 points.

-February 28: 3-2 win vs. Prince George: With Winterhawks alumnus and NHL Hall of Famer Cam Neely looking on, Ian Curtis again made 50+ saves, allowing the Hawks to escape with a victory. Nearly made the top-5 as it was the same day Canada beat the U.S. in overtime to win Olympic gold.

-March 9: 3-0 win vs. Everett. Mac Carruth likely earned his status as playoff starter with his first career shutout against an Everett team that had been dominant through the second half of the season.

-March 13: 3-1 win @ Seattle. A double whammy on this night as it was not only the final regular season game of an unforgettable season, but gave the Hawks a perfect 12-0 record against their archrivals this season.

-March 27: 4-3 win @ Spokane in Game 5. After dropping the first two games at home, the Hawks rebounded with three in a row in Spokane, to grab hold of the series. They built a big lead in this one, and withstood a furious Spokane rally to give them the edge coming home for Game 6. There stands a decent chance a later game from this series will land in the top five.

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