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Winter Hawks

by: , GORDICHUK

Next: After beating Kelowna and Kamloops at home, the Hawks have eight days to prepare for their next game, Oct. 10 at Spokane.

Player of the week: Defenseman Max Gordichuk made his season debut and helped steady the Hawks as they beat Kelowna 5-2 and Kamloops 3-2 in a shootout. Gordichuk, who had offseason wrist surgery and has assumed an assistant captain's role, scored goals in both games and added three assists while being named second star against Kelowna and first star against Kamloops.

Honorable mention: Newly acquired Rob Klinkhammer also scored in both games, and Kurtis Mucha won both games with 61 saves in net.

King for a day: Rookie Tristan King, from Elk River, Minn., ended the longest shootout in Western Hockey League history by scoring in the 12th round against Kamloops.

Youth movement: Portland has 10 players either 16 or 17 years old.

Musical chairs?: Coach Mike Williamson named Kyle Bailey captain and Gordichuk, Michael Sauer and Frazer McLaren assistants, but he might change the captaincy each month. The reason: He doesn't want older players to take for granted their leadership roles, a big problem last season.

Where are they now?: Steve Konowalcuk retired, Calgary extended Andrew Ference's contract and Dallas named Brenden Morrow its captain.

In other former Winter Hawk news, Brandon Dubinsky impressed the New York Rangers in training camp, but the NHL team sent him down to Hartford of the American Hockey League on Saturday. He had scored a goal in his exhibition debut. Last season, he had five goals and five assists with Hartford in the playoffs.

Also, Braydon Coburn's bid to make the Atlanta Thrashers was stalled after he suffered a separated shoulder last week.

Counting heads: Attendance at the Coliseum last weekend was 5,494 for Saturday's home opener and 3,023 for Sunday's Kamloops game. That's a weekend at about 40 percent capacity. Not exactly a rousing start at the turnstiles.

It's too early to tell whether the broadcasting of games on Comcast (Sunday's game was televised) will affect the crowd count, or whether people simply won't want to watch games in Memorial Coliseum.

-Jason Vondersmith