- Pamplin Media
- Portland Tribune - Sports
No. 1 arrives: Kelowna is the defending WHL champ, 2004 Memorial Cup host and junior hockey's No. 1 team. It will play the Hawks at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Rose Garden.
Lately: Portland (19-15-4-1) twice blew two-goal, third-period leads over the weekend but got a win (Tri-City) and a tie (Spokane). 'There's a lot of guys putting themselves ahead of the team right now,' coach Mike Williamson says.
Roster move?: The WHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday. 'I'll have some conversation, but É I'm happy with the talent of the people we have in place,' says General Manager Ken Hodge. He would like to add another scorer, 'but we're not going to do it at a tremendous cost.'
Class of the WHL: Hodge says parity in the league, outside of Kelowna, has teams unwilling to part with players at the deadline. He expects the trade doors to open once Regina, Saskatchewan's goalie, Josh Harding, 'the class of the league,' goes someplace Ñ maybe Vancouver. But Regina demands high-end player(s) in return.
This and that: The Hawks need to set their 25-man roster by Saturday. Fill-in defenseman Jordie Fike will be heading back to midgets. Either Kevin Opsahl or Dustin Butler probably will be transferred to a lower-level team. Williamson says the Hawks may or may not keep Chad Wolkowski, 20, who skipped out on the team for eight games before returning Saturday. 'We're waiting to find out where his mind is,' the coach says.
Ñ Jason Vondersmith