The myth of safety on the field of play

Imagine, for a moment, a scenario that could play out in a number of sports. Running up the middle late in a game, a player waits for a pass from a teammate. There is no opponent nearby, and the player finds a pocket in the coverage and settles into space. Suddenly, without a moment to react, a shot to the head leaves the athlete writhing on the ground.

Western Conference three-peat

With a victory at the Rose Garden on Friday night, the Portland Winterhawks claimed the WHL Western Conference championship over the Kamloops Blazers. Winterhawks winger Ty Rattie earned MVP honors in the series, compiling four goals and eight assists in five games. With the win, Portland became the first WHL team in a decade to take three straight conference titles, matching the success of the Red Deer Rebels from 2001–03.

Men behaving badly

Cooks are fond of saying that “an ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.” Those who follow sports may have noticed that a similar mentality seems to have permeated the collective mindset.

Solid start for the Winterhawks

The Portland Winterhawks opened the WHL Western Conference Finals against the Kamloops Blazers with two physical contests at Veterans Memorial Coliseum over the weekend. Picking up right where they left off in their sweep of Spokane in the previous round, the Winterhawks took control and won both games as Mac Carruth and Ty Rattie made their way through the record books and led the team to a 2-0 series advantage.

Winterhawks get ready for conference finals

There is no shortage of enmity between the Portland Winterhawks and Kamloops Blazers as they prepare to face off at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday. Last year, Kamloops pushed the Winterhawks to seven games in their second-round playoff series; they’ll meet again this weekend, this time with a spot in the championchip up for grabs.

Basement Notes: Robbie Rogers

Feb. 12, 2013, very nearly became a historic day for this generation of sports fans, on par with some of the most important moments on the long road toward acceptance for athletes both on the field of play and in the locker room.

Clean sweep

Getting through the second round of the WHL playoffs proved to be a much smoother ride for the Portland Winterhawks than it was in their opening series against Everett. Much of the thanks is owed to the elder statesman of the club, goaltender Mac Carruth, who stopped 30 shots on Wednesday for his fifth career playoff shutout, extending his franchise record as Portland won 5-0 over the Spokane Chiefs to wrap up the sweep in the Western Conference semifinals.

In defense of draws

Extra innings. Overtimes. Shootouts. Sudden death.
In sports, we feel the need to go for the kill, to designate a clear victor and an officially vanquished opponent. Headlines like “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29” are no longer celebrated; the draw has a decidedly negative connotation to it these days, a wholly unsatisfying consolation prize at the end of a hard-fought game.

Winterhawks back to winning ways at home

After finishing the regular season with a record of 28-7-0-1 at home as they split their time between the Rose Garden and Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the Portland Winterhawks sputtered their way into the second round after losing two of their three home matchups against the Everett Silvertips. Opening their next series of the WHL playoffs with two games in Portland versus the Spokane Chiefs, the Winterhawks responded with a pair of dominant performances to reassert their status as the top seed in the postseason.

Road sweet road

The Portland Winterhawks arrived in Everett for Monday’s game against the Silvertips knowing that they had all the momentum on their opponent’s ice—something they’ve been unable to find in either the Rose Garden Arena or Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the first round of the WHL playoffs. Having lost two of their first three playoff games in Portland, the Winterhawks came out with a sense of urgency to prevent a do-or-die Game 7 on Wednesday. Firing 52 shots on Everett goaltender Austin Lotz, Portland established pressure early and never let up, advancing to the second round with a 5-1 road victory.