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From the Dub: One and Done
I would be totally screwed right now if I gambled on sports. Round one of the WHL playoffs is almost over. Safe bets and sure things are not so certain. The Tri-City Americans swept the Kelowna Rockets out of playoffs on Thursday. The Everett Silvertips eliminated the defending WHL Champions.…
Posted by Samantha on 04/02/18 | Comments 8

From the Dub: March Madness
College basketball isn't the only sport where things get crazy in March. This month also marks the final push to the playoffs in the Western Hockey League, where the regular season ended with a bang last night. In a tight race with the Portland Winterhawks for the U.S. Division title,…
Posted by Samantha on 03/19/18 | Comments 0

From the Dub: We Just Got Here
It seems like only yesterday that I traveled to Everett for the WHL Preseason Classic over Labor Day weekend, but here we are. It's March already and the WHL regular season ends in less than two weeks. The top ranked teams have already clinched a playoff spot, including the Portland…
Posted by Samantha on 03/06/18 | Comments 2

From the Dub: Neutral Zone
The Portland Winterhawks are currently on a seven day break, which is virtually unheard of except for the end-of-year holiday break. That meant no games this weekend. What's a local fan to do? It's an excellent time to catch up with the competition. And maybe brush up on WHL alumni…
Posted by Samantha on 02/19/18 | Comments 2

Game, Set, Match
I spent the last two weeks in January taking a break from hockey to watch the Australian Open. The main reason was nostalgia: watching it live was like being back in Melbourne again. That, and I was quite sure that if I stared at the sunny conditions long enough on…
Posted by Samantha on 02/06/18 | Comments 7

From the Dub: ROI
Now that the 2018 WHL trade deadline is over, the question is whether all those blockbuster trades were worth it. Here in Portland, Dennis Cholowski is turning out to be a really sweet playmaker, which has earned him several Three Stars honors. But some local fans still aren't quite convinced…
Posted by Samantha on 01/23/18 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Welcome to Portland
This weekend provided a good look at the WHL Trade Deadline in action. If the final scoresheets are any indication, most of the big blockbuster trades will pay dividends. That includes Portland, where Dennis Cholowski has already played in three games with four more on deck this week. It's early…
Posted by Samantha on 01/16/18 | Comments 1

From the Dub: Go Big or Go Home
To say that teams in the WHL went all in at the January 10 trade deadline would be an understatement. I have never seen a shopping spree like the one that transpired this week. The trades changed the landscape of both the Western and Eastern Conferences and clearly signals that…
Posted by Samantha on 01/12/18 | Comments 3

From the Dub: Welcome Home
The natives are restless here in Portland, where the Winterhawks suffered their worst loss of the season on Friday at the hands of Kailer Yamamoto's hometown team, the Spokane Chiefs. The Hawks quickly rebounded on Saturday, but it has some local fans in a blather about how the team isn't…
Posted by Samantha on 01/07/18 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Keep the Enemy Closer
When I first looked at the schedule for World Juniors it seemed like it would go on forever, with multiple games every day. But time flies and here we are, gearing up for the semi-finals already. Kieffer Bellows is the only Portland Winterhawk left standing, which leaves me with a…
Posted by Samantha on 01/03/18 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Never Say Never
As the defending gold medalists playing on home ice, Team USA is the obvious favorite to win the World Junior Championship again this year. At first, it looked like a sure thing, until Slovakia clipped their wings in what theoretically should have been an easy win for the United States.…
Posted by Samantha on 12/31/17 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Yes, They Are
"Is he really that good?" I hear this all the time from casual fans who don't truly understand the talents of top junior players like Cody Glass, Henri Jokiharju and Kieffer Bellows. The answer is yes, they are and the World Junior Championship is a chance to see it for…
Posted by Samantha on 12/28/17 | Comments 1

From the Dub: World View
The WHL has dispatched some of its best talent to the World Junior selection camps, which are still underway now. Three Portland Winterhawks are still with their respective teams and all three are in good position to make the final rosters. I am excited for players like Henri Jokiharju and…
Posted by Samantha on 12/19/17 | Comments 0

The Upside of Down
2017 has been a long, strange year for me personally. I had a lot of good times and adventurous travel, but I had a feeling something might go awry. And indeed it did, when I was laid off from my non-hockey day job last week. The upside is that I've…
Posted by Samantha on 11/16/17 | Comments 2

From the Dub: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
As a longtime junior hockey fan, I've learned that a player's post-NHL draft year is the true breakout year. It's the one where teams discover whether that first round pick really is worth all the hype. It's also the year scouts start paying closer attention to players picked in later…
Posted by Samantha on 11/09/17 | Comments 1

There’s a First Time for Everything
Some hockey games are bigger than the game (think Miracle on Ice) and sometimes, so is the player. Such was the case when Nathan Walker became the first Australian to play in the NHL. It followed a string of firsts that also include being the first Australian to be drafted…
Posted by Samantha on 10/22/17 | Comments 0

Please Return to New York for a Left-Behind Item
Let's face it. Every off-season there comes a point where enough is enough. The warm weather and free time on weekends are nice, but I'm over it. Here in the Rose City, relief is in sight. The Portland Winterhawks have released their training camp schedule. The Neely Cup opens on August…
Posted by Samantha on 08/11/17 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Play on!
The major junior hockey season ended this past weekend with the Memorial Cup Final, in which the Windsor Spitfires won their third title. All three league title holders (Seattle, Erie, Saint John) were eliminated. We now turn our attention to the Stanley Cup Final, but in a few short weeks…
Posted by Samantha on 06/01/17 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Keep the enemy closer
It's not often you will find Portland fans saying anything about the Seattle Thunderbirds that doesn't involve a four letter word, but let's face it: they have earned their place in the Memorial Cup. After capturing their second consecutive WHL Western Conference title, they made history when they won their…
Posted by Samantha on 05/21/17 | Comments 0

From the Dub: We’re All On the Same Team
This weekend, the junior hockey world headlines were dominated by two very different but significant events: the unveiling of the Swift Current Broncos Memorial and the World Junior Championship. We also received an update that former WHL player Craig Cunningham's health has improved as he starts down the long road…
Posted by Samantha on 01/03/17 | Comments 0

Start Your Engines
It just occurred to me that I haven't posted on this blog since August, largely due to the fact that I'm also a Formula 1 race fan. The battle for the Formula One Drivers' World Championship may be decided next weekend in Brazil. If Nico Rosberg wins, he will capture…
Posted by Samantha on 11/05/16 | Comments 2

From the Dub: Play On!
At first glance, Aussie Rules Football looks like really well-organized chaos. Stay past the first quarter and you'll begin to wonder "who invented this sport and how high were they when they did so?" If you're new to the sport, your perception of Australia's beloved national pastime probably goes something…
Posted by Samantha on 08/25/16 | Comments 5

Location, Location, Location
When I declared several months ago that I was traveling 8,107 miles one way to watch hockey in Australia, I wasn’t kidding. I did it. And I’m here to tell you that if you get the chance, you should go. In fact, June would be an excellent time to trek…
Posted by Samantha on 05/15/16 | Comments 1

Everyone has a blindspot
You never realize the true meaning of "there's no place like home" until you've either traveled to or lived in places far away from your home. I've done both, and there truly is no place quite like Oregon. I spent last weekend in Santa Monica, where the Independent Spirit Awards…
Posted by Samantha on 03/05/16 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Do the math
There's nothing like an invitation to your 30th high school reunion to make you realize that your day, if ever there was one, is over.  Even worse is the realization that in the minds of the teenage hockey players you interview on a weekly basis, you're old. In fact, I'm…
Posted by Samantha on 02/23/16 | Comments 1

Home Is Where the Hockey Is
My birthday wasn't supposed to be January 26 (Australia Day and Wayne Gretzky's birthday); it was supposed to be Valentine's Day. But I decided it was go time a few weeks early et voila! My fate was sealed. It only seemed right to plot a vacation to Australia on my…
Posted by Samantha on 01/31/16 | Comments 0

From the Dub: The Son Also Rises
When Dominic Turgeon was signed by the Portland Winterhawks in early 2012, local fans' thoughts didn't automatically turn to the team's new recruit: everyone who's being honest automatically thought "I can't wait to meet his father." On the off-chance you don't know who I'm referring to, Dominic's father is five-time…
Posted by Samantha on 01/17/16 | Comments 1

From the Dub: Careful What You Wish For
When I declared “Bring it, 2015” I thought I was ready for it.  It all started out so well: the Portland Winterhawks were making the push for the “drive for five,” I was training for the Shamrock Run and spring came early to Portland. Then came April; after finishing my…
Posted by Samantha on 01/02/16 | Comments 0

Hockey first. Period. No exceptions.
It was only a few short months ago I was on injured reserve, with way too much free time on my hands. Flash forward to September, at which point the last 90 days of my life disappeared into thin air. And I'm not even talking about how busy the hockey…
Posted by Samantha on 12/06/15 | Comments 3

From the Dub: Their Whole Season is a Blindspot
Now that Strike Back is over and NBC has cut short Philip Winchester’s new gig on The Player, I’m paying closer attention to his former co-star’s new series, Blindspot. If you’re tuning into this intriguing new show, you know the premise: a woman with no memory is left in Times…
Posted by Samantha on 11/02/15 | Comments 0

From the Dub: #safetyfirst
I've spent the past five months on injured reserve, waiting for the day when I could be cleared for contact with the real world again. That day came this past week, but I realized that maybe I didn't really want to get back out there after all. Life outside the…
Posted by Samantha on 10/17/15 | Comments 0

We’re passing through turbulence, please fasten your seat belt
When four days of business travel got put on my work calendar during the heart of hurricane season, I knew I was in for it. Last week, the pre-cursor to Hurricane Joaquin passed right up the East Coast, where some blissfully unaware colleauges decided it would be a good time…
Posted by Samantha on 10/04/15 | Comments 1

From the Dub: And They’re Back
The new season is officially underway here in the WHL, where top Western Conference held training camps over the past week. In Portland, top NHL prospects Paul Bittner, Dominic Turgeon and Jack Dougherty were on display. North of us, Mathew Barzal, name-to-watch Nolan Volcan and Nick Merkley were getting it done…
Posted by Samantha on 09/03/15 | Comments 2

Strike Back Against the Off-Season
After five seasons of covering NHL and WHL hockey, there’s one thing I know for sure: I should never be left unsupervised in the off-season. Exhibit A: On the first official weekend of the WHL off-season, I promptly face-planted off a stair and spent the next 12 weeks on injured…
Posted by Samantha on 07/31/15 | Comments 0

Hello NHL, Portland Calling
It’s been a busy week here in the Rose City: the Winterhawks released their pre and regular season schedules just days before several players were drafted into the NHL. And of course, there’s the buzz that the proposed NHL expansion has already generated. I would argue the NHL is already here,…
Posted by Samantha on 06/27/15 | Comments 0

Things that go bump
Mother’s Day weekend should have exactly what my mom and I planned: a weekend in the country, enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty and perhaps a spa treatment or dip in the pool. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about best laid plans, it’s that they always go awry. And so…
Posted by Samantha on 05/25/15 | Comments 2

From the Dub: Tickets, Please
After a blockbuster finish to Round 2 of the WHL Playoffs, the final four teams have punched their tickets to the Eastern and Western Conference finals. In Brandon, the Calgary Hitmen will face the Brandon Wheat Kings. Here in the Western Conference, we are gearing up for a second consecutive showdown between…
Posted by Samantha on 04/23/15 | Comments 1

From the Dub: Round and Round They Go
We’re only in the second round of playoffs out here in the WHL, but it already feels like we’re much deeper into it. Maybe it’s the double OT it took the Portland Winterhawks to tie up the series with Everett  1-1. It could be that the Silvertips had to go…
Posted by Samantha on 04/16/15 | Comments 0

In Oliver we trust
From the first day he set foot on Portland ice, Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand has delivered on his promise. He was drafted 26th overall in the 2012 CHL Import Draft and signed that year on July 26. Oliver promptly bolted out of the starting gate with his first…
Posted by Samantha on 03/08/15 | Comments 0

Miracles happen for a reason
As of Sunday, February 22, 1980, I had never even seen a hockey game. I didn’t know a thing about the sport. All I knew was that the United States Olympic hockey team was about to play the Russians in a game they might lose. I was 12 and otherwise…
Posted by Samantha on 02/24/15 | Comments 0

Hockey conquers all
I've spent the better part of the past two months battling lower body injuries and flu-like illnesses, which can make one feel very old and very sorry for oneself very easily. Through it all, one thing made living on my couch tolerable: hockey, but of course. It saves the day when nothing else…
Posted by Samantha on 01/24/15 | Comments 3

From the Dub: Bring it, 2015
I’ve heard from a lot of friends, colleagues and fellow fans who were thrilled to bid 2014 farewell. I’m one of them, but here in Portland, things are looking up. Over the weekend, Portland Winterhawks Captain Nic Petan stole the World Junior show with a hat trick, paving the way…
Posted by Samantha on 01/07/15 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Pooh for Short
Twitter is exploding today with news that Derrick Pouliot has been called up by the Penguins for tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers. His path to the NHL has come full circle: chosen first overall in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Derrick was the first player Mike Johnston drafted as General…
Posted by Samantha on 12/20/14 | Comments 1

From the Dub: No Sleep Till Spring
The Portland Winterhawks went down in yet another heartbreaker Friday night, this time in a shootout to the number one team in the U.S. Division: the Everett Silvertips. It was a good game right up until the shootout, where the Winterhawks appear to have lost their shooting accuracy.  It’s the…
Posted by Samantha on 11/17/14 | Comments 0

From the Dub: The Choice Is Ours
For the past four seasons, Portland Winterhawks fans have been immune to the cyclical nature of junior hockey, in which teams rebuild every few years. On Mike Johnston’s watch, the Winterhawks didn’t rebuild each season; they simply reloaded. We all knew the day would come when Mike would leave and things…
Posted by Samantha on 10/18/14 | Comments 3

Pittsburgh is the new Portland
I'm really glad I decided to save this season as draft, because the Portland Winterhawks are off to a start that no one saw coming: 1-7-0-2.  It has more than a few fans wishing Mike Johnston was still here, but we are happy to see him achieve his life's dream of…
Posted by Samantha on 10/15/14 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Welcome to the new world
Here in the WHL, the long wait for the new season is over. The regular season is underway across the league. With nine players away at NHL Camps or injured, the Winterhawks found themselves in unfamiliar territory with two consecutive losses to the Seattle Thunderbirds and the Prince George Cougars last weekend. But…
Posted by Samantha on 09/26/14 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Save as draft
One of the many adventures of working for a tech company is that nobody communicates via old school methods of communication like snail mail, phone calls or personal meetings. Everything is conducted via the latest and greatest automated technologies. One of those technologies is a safeguard in our email tool called "save as draft."…
Posted by Samantha on 09/07/14 | Comments 1

From the Dub: Are we there yet?
It's hard to believe that it’s almost time for the start of the WHL pre-season. 2014 began on a high note on the ice, as the Portland Winterhawks went on a ridiculous 21-game winning streak that lasted into March. Off the ice, however, it was filled with unexpected changes, fender benders and…
Posted by Samantha on 08/05/14 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Onward!
2014 is turning out to be the year of new beginnings, on and off the ice. In the past three weeks, the Portland Winterhawks have seen four players get drafted, bid farewell and best wishes to Head Coach and GM Mike Johnston and Assistant Coach Karl Taylor, and welcomed Jamie…
Posted by Samantha on 07/13/14 | Comments 2

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