The Hawks take a 21-11-2-1 record into the Western Hockey League break. Most clubs return to action Dec. 27; Portland’s next games will be Wednesday and Friday, Dec. 30 in the Rose Garden against Victoria. Face-offs are at 7 p.m. Then comes the annual New Year’s Eve game with Seattle at 8 p.m., also in the Rose Garden. Portland is 35 games through the 72-game regular season and has 45 points, nine behind the Tri-City Americans, who lead the U.S. Division at 27-7-0-0 (54 points in 34 games). Tri-City was ranked second in the Canadian Hockey League’s most recent poll of NHL scouts. That matches their best position ever. Portland was not one of 13 teams receiving votes. The Hawks lost 3-0 at Tri-City last week to fall to 0-5 versus the Ams this season. Portland was without three of its top four scorers in last week’s meeting, though, with Ty Rattie, Brad Ross and Joe Morrow trying out unsuccessfully for Canada’s world junior tournament squad. Portland beat Spokane 8-6 last Saturday to head into the break with a 4-0 season record over the third-place Chiefs (15-11-2-3, 35 points in 31 games). Rattie leads the WHL in goals (33) by three. Ross is tied for seventh with 22 goals. Portland’s Sven Bartschi leads by four in WHL assists with 42, and Rattie is tied for 10th with 29. That combination has Rattie second in WHL scoring (62 points in 33 games), behind Brandon’s Mark Stone (65 points in 33 games). Bartschi is sixth with 54 points. On the power play, Rattie has the lead by five in goals (16), and Bartschi has the edge by one in assists (20). Center Nic Petan is 12th among WHL rookies in scoring with 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists).

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