Hockey club to play at Memorial Coliseum

Portland State’s ice hockey club is sharing a stage with the pros this weekend.

Portland State’s ice hockey club is sharing a stage with the pros this weekend.

The Vikings are hosting the University of Idaho Vandals for a two-game series at the Memorial Coliseum, home of the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks.

The hockey club, which typically plays its home games at the newly renovated Winterhawks Skating Center in Beaverton, is changing venues on Saturday and Sunday because the Beaverton arena is overbooked this weekend, according to club president Ryan Stanchfield.

“There’s a youth tournament and a high school tournament both at the same rink this weekend,” Stanchfield said. “Since the same company owns the Memorial Coliseum, the Rose Garden and the Winterhawks Skating Center, they said ‘Go ahead and take the big venue.'”

The Vikings and the Vandals will face off in the 12,000-seat Memorial Coliseum following the Winterhawks’ Saturday afternoon game and before their Sunday night game.

Aside from its potential for a much larger audience, Stanchfield said that playing in the Memorial Coliseum should benefit the Vikings on the ice.

“It’s actually a smaller rink than the one at the Winterhawks Skating Center,” the junior, who is majoring in mechanical engineering, said. “The length is shorter, so we’re excited to be on a little bit smaller rink where we can use our defense to our advantage.”

The PSU hockey club is a Division-2 member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association and plays other clubs from schools located in the western U.S.

Portland State is looking to break a losing streak that has kept the team winless in the month of January. The Vikings began the new year with two losses to in-state rival Oregon on Jan. 7 and 8. Most recently, they lost to visiting Cal State-Fullerton, 7-6, in Beaverton last weekend.

Despite the losing streak, Stanchfield said the club is still feeling good about the team’s progress this season.

“The team is coming along nicely,” he said. “We picked up a few players after Christmas break, and we’re a much stronger team now than we were at the first half of the season.

“We’re getting our legs back under us; we’re getting our new goalies in-tune and worked out; we’re knocking out all the little things and it’s making a big difference in our daily practices.”

Stanchfield said the Vikings have won roughly six of the last 10 meetings with the Vandals, and that this weekend’s matchups should prove to be good games for the fans to watch.

“We’ve always had a good rivalry with them,” Stanchfield said. “They’re always a really strong team, and that’s what we’re looking forward to again this weekend.”

Saturday’s first faceoff is set for 6:30 p.m., and Sunday’s game is scheduled to begin at noon. Tickets to each game are $5 for general admission, and PSU students get in for free by showing valid student ID—one of the several reasons that Stanchfield said students should come watch the hockey club in action.

“We’re closer, we’re on the MAX line, it’s an easier game to get to and it’s free with a student ID,” Stanchfield said. “So there’s no point to not come and hang out and have fun at the big rink and watch a great hockey game.” ?