When: Saturday, October 15, 6pm.
Where: Memorial Coliseum.
Watch: You can stream the game via the CHL TV pay per view (US$6.10 for one game).
For the Portland Winterhawks, this is the season’s first real test. They are 6-0 after beating the Edmonton Oil Kings 5-2 on Tuesday. But they’ve only played one team with a record better than .500. That team is Saturday’s opponent, the Kamloops Blazers. But it’s not really a rematch; the Blazers were missing their top five returning scorers and their best defenseman, all at pro camps. Most of those players are back, so in addition to it being the league’s game of the night, it’s the game of the season so far for the Winterhawks.
|20||11-Robbie Fromm-Delorme (199 games)|
|19||92-Jack O’Brien (146)
13-James Stefan (138)
16-Gabe Klassen (131)
9-Aidan Litke (81)
21-Jonah Bevington (70)
67-Dawson Pasternak (40)
|18||19-Kyle Chyzowski (105)
72-Marcus Nguyen (99)
77-Luke Schelter (84)
|17||28-Josh Zakreski (22)
93-Nicholas Johnson (8)
20-Aiden Sotas (2)
|16||90-Diego Buttazzoni (6)|
Two milestones: 200 games for Robbie Fromm-Delorme, and 100 games for Marcus Nguyen. Fromm-Delorme is a 7th-round pick and Nguyen is an 11th-rounder, so the Winterhawks’ scouting does it again. Nguyen is a lock to get to 200 if he doesn’t get hurt.
Klassen, who’s been out since the first 3 games, is day-to-day.
Leading forwards: Fromm-Delorme (9 points/6 games), O’Brien (8/6), Klassen (7/3), Stefan (6/4), Chyzowski (5/6), Zakreski (5/6).
|20||47-Kurtis Smythe (131)|
|19||6-Ryan McCleary (96)|
|18||73-Luca Cagnoni (90)
43-Ryder Thompson (88)
26-Marek Alscher (76)
2-Josh Mori (49)
|17||59-Carter Sotheran (6)
14-Rhett Ravndahl (1)
|16||91-Alex Thompson (3)|
In a numbers game, Nicholas Andrusiak was sent down, giving Portland 9 defensemen. Which is still a lot.
Ryder Thompson is also listed as day-to-day. He did play against Edmonton on Tuesday.
Their NHL drafted defensemen, McCleary and Alscher, haven’t started the season all that well. They’ll be needed for this one.
Leading defensemen: Cagnoni (8/6), Sotheran (5/6), Ryder Thompson (3/5).
|20||74-Dante Giannuzzi (71)|
|18||31-Jan Špunar (2)|
With only one game this weekend and nothing in midweek, and by far their best opponent of the season, whoever gets this start will be who the Winterhawks consider their number one goalie.
Save percentages: Giannuzzi .901, Špunar .918.
The Blazers come from Kennewick, where they pounded Tri-City 7-1. Logan Stankoven, probably the conference’s best player, in his first game back after just falling short of making the Dallas Stars, had 2 goals and an assist. Wild-drafted Caeden Bankier had a hat trick. They almost have everyone back. Fraser Minten, a newly-signed Toronto Maple Leaf, is hurt and out about a week longer.
Luckily, or possibly how they planned it, the schedule has helped them overcome all their early season missing players. They’ve had a light schedule–only 5 games played so far–and Portland is the only opponent they’ve played over .500. So they’re in the same boat as the Winterhawks, looking for a real test.
Of course these are all exhibition games to them, as they have a bye into the Memorial Cup no matter how they do this season. A lot of this season is spent figuring out who they need to trade.
|20||32-Drew Englot (168)
22-Daylan Kuefler (149)
|19||19-Caedan Bankier (166)
11-Logan Stankoven (156)
13-Matthew Seminoff (155)
23-Dylan Sydor (100)
33-Ashton Ferster (81)
29-Kobe Verbicky (78)
|18||15-Connor Levis (112)
16-Fraser Minten (104)
17-Nathan MacPherson-Ridgewell (31)
|17||9-Emmitt Finnie (54)|
|16||25-Ashton Tait (6)|
Stankoven had 104 points in 59 games last season. Realistically he could have about 10 fewer games and still get to 100.
Levis, a 1st-round bantam pick, had 4 points against the Ams Friday.
Leading forwards: Bankier (8/4), Levis (8/5), Englot (5/5), Seminoff (4/4), Stankoven (3/1), Kuefler (3/2), Sydor (3/5).
|20||24-Ethan Brandwood (151)|
|19||21-Kyle Masters (123)
2-Logan Bairos (107)
6-Aapo Sarell (5)
|17||7-Kaden Hammell (86)
12-Ryan Michael (11)
3-Rylan Pearce (3)
|16||18-Harrison Brunicke (7)|
Masters was acquired along with a 1st-round pick for Mats Lindgren in a swap of NHL-drafted players.
This might be the question mark of the team, and maybe where they look to upgrade for that one week in May.
Leading defensemen: Masters (4/4), Brandwood (3/5), Bairos (3/5).
|18||35-Dylan Ernst (33)
30-Michael Schnattinger (1)
Schnattinger is an import pick, which will look odd in retrospect unless he becomes their number one goalie. Ernst got the call against Tri-City on Friday.
Save percentages: Ernst .937, Schnattinger .944.
|Power plays for/game||3.5||4.6||4.4|
|Power plays against/game||3.2||3.6||4.4|
|After 1 period||5-0-1||4-1|
|After 2 periods||5-1||4-1|
|Score, last 10 games||37-26||33-22|
|Score, last 20 games||68-46||68-43|
|Total WHL games||1745||1887|