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From the Dub: the road less traveled
In about three hours, the Portland Winterhawks will begin their fourth straight bid for the WHL Western Conference in Kelowna, BC. There is no easy way to get from Portland to Kelowna, but the journey is worth it. When I departed Portland late Wednesday to stay overnight in Kennewick, I figured Thursday would…
Posted by Samantha on 04/18/14 | Comments 1

From the Dub: Accidentally on purpose
Both my blogs have been woefully neglected because the past two weeks went like so: 1) Celebrate the Portland Winterhawks’ victory in Game 1 of the WHL Playoffs by getting rear-ended at a stoplight by a sketch driver with sketch insurance. 2) Get a medical procedure bright and early at…
Posted by Samantha on 04/04/14 | Comments 2

From the Dub: We’re all on the same team
Terry Trafford’s untimely and tragic death is gut-wrenching news no matter who you are, where you live or which team you root for. At the same time, here in the Dub fans are praying for and thinking of Tim Bozon, who according to the latest reports is stable and improving…
Posted by Samantha on 03/14/14 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Must be 21 and over to play
Saturday night in Seattle reached playoff-like levels, as the Portland Winterhawks had the chance to extend their already ridiculous winning streak to 22, tying the record for most consecutive wins in a single season (previously set by the Estevan Bruins in 1967-1968) and clinching the U.S. Division title. For fans…
Posted by Samantha on 03/03/14 | Comments 1

From the Dub: Welcome to the future
We are heading down the stretch toward playoffs in the WHL, with an average of 18 games to go in the regular season. The talent fueling the push to the playoffs was recently on display at the CHL Top Prospects Game and World Junior Tournament and they are showing no signs of relenting…
Posted by Samantha on 02/08/14 | Comments 0

Thank you, Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild prospect Mathew Dumba has been returned to the WHL, where he will join the Portland Winterhawks for the remainder of the season as the result of a trade with the Red Deer Rebels. The general consensus among industry experts is that this is the best place for him…
Posted by Samantha on 01/09/14 | Comments 0

One Ring to Rule Them All
I had noble ambitions for this holiday season, like exercise, sleep, eating from the four food groups and finally starting the first draft of my self-published novel. All of which would have happened, until I tuned into the annual holiday showing of all three Lord of the Rings movies on TNT (Fellowship…
Posted by Samantha on 01/05/14 | Comments 0

A Christmas Hockey Story
One of my holiday traditions is watching the 24-hour marathon of "A Christmas Story," a timeless classic that has stood the test of time since it was originally released in theaters 30 years ago. After 24 hours of eating, drinking and watching this nostalgic film based on author Jean Shepherd’s…
Posted by Samantha on 12/26/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Rock On
You’d think buying tickets to a Pearl Jam show would be a no-brainer for fans like me. That is, if you don’t also have a hockey game competing for your precious free time.  In this case, the band rolls through town the same night the Portland Winterhawks are playing the…
Posted by Samantha on 11/22/13 | Comments 0

The Hockey to Corporate America Dictionary: The new normal
One week after it took place, I’m still recovering from a corporate retreat at a local hotel, where you’re supposed to team build, bond and set goals for the coming year. What you also end up doing is sitting on your ass for eight hours in a row, eating really…
Posted by Samantha on 11/20/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Cut to the Chase
2014 draft prospect Chase De Leo is one of Portland’s rising superstars and the Winterhawks' resident ladies’ man. More impressive than his particular brand of charm is his particular brand of racking up points. The Portland Winterhawks just returned from a perfect five game road trip that propelled them into first…
Posted by Samantha on 10/29/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Vengeance is Ours!
In late September, the Tri-City Americans humiliated the Portland Winterhawks with a 6-2 defeat in Portland. Caused by an epic lapse in the Winterhawks' defense and their general lack of interest in showing up for the game, it was painful to watch right from the start.  After the game, Columbus Blue Jackets' prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand…
Posted by Samantha on 10/20/13 | Comments 0

On the start of the NHL season: #hockeyfirst
I felt guilty this week when I turned on the TV to watch the regular season hype on the NHL Network instead of the gory details of the government shutdown on CNN. How dare I get excited about hockey’s return when Americans have been so totally screwed by our own government? Couple…
Posted by Samantha on 10/03/13 | Comments 1

From the Dub: That’s Ms. Hardcore to you
The Portland Winterhawks’ regular season doesn’t start until Friday, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at my pre-season agenda. Last weekend alone, I went to eight games in four days, crossing one state line and one Canadian border to do so. Before that, it was three games on Labor…
Posted by Samantha on 09/18/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Happy Hockey New Year!
WHL teams open training camps this week, including the Portland Winterhawks. August 21st therefore marks the official end of the off season in the Rose City. While we bid a fond farewell to players who are moving on to other pursuits, it’s also time to welcome our future superstars, some of whom…
Posted by Samantha on 08/21/13 | Comments 0

“We’re on that:” the Corporate America to hockey dictionary
Having spent most of my career in an office setting of one sort or another, I can tell you that Corporate America is a strange and sometimes entertaining place to ply one's trade. Among the daily amusements is the totally hysterical use of the English language. Daily life in the corporate jungle is a treasure…
Posted by Samantha on 08/09/13 | Comments 3

From the Dub: Gone campin’
The regular season and playoffs are like a compass for hockey fans. They guide us through our everyday lives with an unwavering sense of direction, hope and purpose. The off season, however, is another story. While some people use the off season as a chance to kick back from highly…
Posted by Samantha on 08/07/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Fun with Numbers
A weeklong vacation in the land of Tim Hortons, fabulous British Columbia wine and nightly doses of TSN gives a girl a lot of time to think about the upcoming hockey season, which isn't that far away here in Portland. The Portland Winterhawks open training camp on August 21, and buzz…
Posted by Samantha on 07/14/13 | Comments 1

Survival of the fittest
The L.A. Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins are my favorite teams. So I had visions of a win-win Stanley Cup final; no matter who won, I’d be happy. Instead, I’m choosing a new side as the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks do battle for the Cup. Of course I’m…
Posted by Samantha on 06/14/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Dear Hockey Gods, this is London calling
By now, you’ve seen and heard about the hit heard around the major junior hockey world last night and the resulting punishment rendered this morning. To recap: Saskatoon Blade Dalton Thrower left his feet to level Portland Winterhawks’ forward and Saskatoon native Taylor Leier with a clearly targeted head hit that was…
Posted by Samantha on 05/23/13 | Comments 1

From the Dub: You gotta fight for your right to party
Friday in Portland, Oregon had all the makings of a five-star night of hockey. In a WHL Championship rematch with the Edmonton Oil Kings, the Winterhawks were leading the series 3-1 with home ice advantage. The Rose Garden was fully sold out two days in advance of the game and…
Posted by Samantha on 05/17/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: “Hey Sam”
Don, Don, Don, seriously? Still sticking to that no girls allowed in the locker room story, eh? Not but a few days after Don Cherry's words that will live in infamy, Jason Collins made history when he announced publicly that he is gay. I see Cherry is trying to cover his…
Posted by Samantha on 05/02/13 | Comments 6

“They’re like the regular season, only better”
The WHL is knee deep in the playoffs, where the Portland Winterhawks will commence a third straight run at the Western Conference Championship beginning April 19.  Elsewhere, it will be a Battle of Alberta between the Calgary Hitmen and the Edmonton Oil Kings for the Eastern Conference title. That headline…
Posted by Samantha on 04/14/13 | Comments 0

Greetings Ottawa, Meet Troy Rutkowski
The Senators signed the Portland Winterhawks’ Captain to a three year entry level last week, just as the WHL playoffs were getting underway. We thought it would never happen after the Colorado Avalanche took a pass on signing him. Of course, we probably should have known it might take a…
Posted by Samantha on 03/27/13 | Comments 0

Hello Dallas, Meet Taylor Peters
Your newest recruit is currently playing in his overage season with the Portland Winterhawks, but he’s worth the wait. Taylor currently wears the A for the ‘Hawks, serves as the team’s starting center and is Portland’s top penalty killer. In his free time he keeps busy by studying physics, blogging,…
Posted by Samantha on 03/17/13 | Comments 0

Do you still believe in miracles?
February 22, 1980 changed my life; growing up in Arizona and California, it was the first time I ever watched an actual, live hockey game. Looking back now, that epic Olympic matchup between the United States and Russia changed my life in more ways than I could have imagined as…
Posted by Samantha on 02/25/13 | Comments 0

The plus/minus of losing
The Portland Winterhawks gave us all a scare on Friday night, when they dropped a game to the Tri-City Americans 6-2, one of the few times this season they've lost in such an ugly way. They rebounded quickly on Saturday with an overtime win against the Vancouver Giants. Ironically, they…
Posted by Samantha on 02/18/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: the son also rises
The son in this case being Portland Winterhawk goalie Brendan Burke, whose father is former NHL goalie Sean Burke.  Currently ranked 13th among North American goalies by Central Scouting, Brendan recently turned heads when he posted two shutouts in a row on Jan. 26 and 29. Those ultimately turned out…
Posted by Samantha on 02/07/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: #hockeyneverleft
I'm as jazzed as the next fan that NHL hockey is back, but I was a bit twerked by their chosen Twitter hashtag of #hockeyisback. For those of us who live in towns with AHL, WHL, college or prep school hockey, it never left; only the NHL did. Major junior hockey,…
Posted by Samantha on 01/29/13 | Comments 0

Seth Jones, NFL Quarterback?
We've heard his name, we know who his father is, and we all know about his feats of hockey derring do. Since arriving at Portland Winterhawks training camp last August, Seth Jones has delivered on the hype and far exceeded expectations. I’m here to tell you he’s all that in person too,…
Posted by Samantha on 01/26/13 | Comments 0

Hockey first, everything else second
The long overdue start of the NHL regular season means that it's time to put hockey first for a while and everything else second or third. The challenge is helping our non-hockey appreciating friends, family and  colleagues understand that they too can benefit from our priorizting the game above all else. I…
Posted by Samantha on 01/24/13 | Comments 3

Conversion theory: hockey’s back, now what?
I’m as excited as the next person about the start of the NHL season, but it also means adios to things like free time, going to bed at a reasonable hour and spending money on non-hockey endeavors. With the NHL regular season around the corner, it’s time to re-enter major league…
Posted by Samantha on 01/10/13 | Comments 0

On the lockout: Maddy to the rescue
Never mind all this crap about salary caps and floors, pension plans and hockey-related revenue, blah, blah, blah. Portland, Oregon is the home of the answer to all this mess; meet Maddy, pint sized Portland Winterhawks fan extraordinaire. At just four years old, she’s already a well-known fixture here on the local…
Posted by Samantha on 01/04/13 | Comments 0

“You can always hope right?”
That's a Tweet posted by Portland Winterhawks rookie Alex Schoenborn four days ago. On the other end of the spectrum, in September Penguins prospect Derrick Pouliot Tweeted the very best and most honest thing I've ever read about the current state of affairs; "lockout, not cool." While I was attempting to occupy what…
Posted by Samantha on 01/01/13 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Dear Grinch, About Christmas
Portland Winterhawks fans are in the midst of a WHL regular season that is simultaneously the ugliest and most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. So I took a few nights off from NHL lockout and WHL sanction-related news to watch some warm and fuzzy holiday classics. Among them was “How the…
Posted by Samantha on 12/12/12 | Comments 0

From the Dub: Attention Nashville, About Brendan Leipsic
If you saw the Portland Winterhawks' hot play this past week, you might never know the team was operating under heavy sanctions from the WHL. Those penalties certainly aren't stopping Nashville Predators prospect Brendan Leipsic from his appointed scoring rounds. The same day he was named WHL Player of the Week,…
Posted by Samantha on 12/08/12 | Comments 0

From the Dub: We fly with our own wings
On Friday night, the Portland Winterhawks answered the WHL's sanctions with a win against the Seattle Thunderbirds and they are currently up 3-0 on the Everett Slivertips as I post this on Saturday night. The Friday festivities kicked off with a standing ovation for Head Coach and GM Mike Johnston when his…
Posted by Samantha on 12/01/12 | Comments 0

From the Dub: It’s been a long day’s journey into night
Whether you live in Portland or not, all of the hockey world now knows about the WHL's severe discipline against the Portland Winterhawks for recruiting violations. As the NHL lockout drags on, the Winterhawks have provided local fans here in the Rose City with hope and faith amid the darkness, on and off…
Posted by Samantha on 11/29/12 | Comments 0

Rule 48B: No bumps to the regular hockey season noggin
I have the privilege of living in a WHL town and going to a hockey rink several days a week, so I have admittedly lost interest in whether the NHL and NHLPA work it out. But now and again, I can’t help tuning in to see if progress has been…
Posted by Samantha on 11/14/12 | Comments 0

From the Dub: The Name is Bjorkstrand; Oliver Bjorkstrand
You may be pleased to know that there is a beacon in the middle of the NHL lockout darkness; and he’s playing right here in the Dub, right now. Hope springs eternal here in the junior leagues, and in this case hockey’s hope is named Oliver Bjorkstrand, a Danish rookie…
Posted by Samantha on 10/27/12 | Comments 2

Grimm Reality: Hockey is everywhere
I opened my personal calendar this week to a horrifying reality that I knew was coming, but had ignored until now. Between now and October 28, there are no NHL games and alas, there is only one Portland Winterhawks home game. What’s a girl to do? I know: watch a…
Posted by Samantha on 10/17/12 | Comments 1

To be lucky or to be good, that is the question
Last weekend, Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Derrick Pouliot let one ripper of a shot fly into the Kelowna Rockets’ net, giving the Portland Winterhawks a 1-0 win and Cam Lanigan his first WHL career shutout. But it’s important to note that the game winning goal happened late in the third period, after…
Posted by Samantha on 10/08/12 | Comments 0

Hello AHL, Meet the Portland Winterhawks
I was plotting yet another “lockout, not cool”* type entry, when I realized such rants are an exercise in futility. Instead, I have endeavored to find some measure of goodness in the middle of all this muck. I am very fortunate that the goodness once played hockey in Portland, and…
Posted by Samantha on 09/20/12 | Comments 0

Dear NHL,
Waiting for the NHL and NHLPA to get their act together on the CBA is a lot like watching water boil; the more you stare at it, the less progress seems to be made. Too bad there's not a Hockey Fan Association at the table. If we had anything to say…
Posted by Samantha on 08/31/12 | Comments 1

Michael Phelps, hockey player?
Sitting here in the blissful aftermath of what Michael Phelps has achieved, it’s hard to believe his storied Olympic career is over. Which may be why so many experts are saying he isn’t done, despite his public declarations that he’s hanging up the Speedo for good. But he’s right; he…
Posted by Samantha on 08/05/12 | Comments 12

Take a lap: the hockey fan’s guide to Olympic swimming
In the off season I can be found in a galaxy far, far away from the ice rink, doing laps at my local community pool. This year, I’m cutting into quality workout time to watch the aquatic events at the Olympics. I can see from my Twitter feeds that my…
Posted by Samantha on 07/31/12 | Comments 3

Hey Nashville, about Brendan Leipsic
The Nashville Predators roster is looking a lot like the Portland Winterhawks these days. Thanks to the past few years’ Entry Drafts and the current free agent frenzy, the team now has numerous Winterhawks (past and present) on their current roster or in their system, including Paul Gaustad, forward Cam…
Posted by Samantha on 07/03/12 | Comments 0

On the NHL Awards: Shiny Objects All Around
As the NHL’s best and brightest prepare to descend on Las Vegas, it occurred to me that there are so many other things for which the league could hand out even more shiny things. Similar to the technical Academy Awards, the league could hold a second awards ceremony to honor…
Posted by Samantha on 06/19/12 | Comments 0

From the Dub: The definitive anti-expert’s guide to the draft
The NHL Entry Draft looks to keep the off-season exciting for us out here in the WHL, where the league is well represented in this year’s Central Scouting rankings. Among the players expected to go highly are a number of defensemen, including Everett Silvertips Captain Ryan Murray and Portland Winterhawk…
Posted by Samantha on 06/16/12 | Comments 0

Hello St. Louis, Meet Ty Rattie
About a week ago, the St. Louis Blues finally had the good sense to sign Portland Winterhawk Ty Rattie to a three-year entry level contract. Chosen 32nd overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Ty is a high-scoring forward you might want to start paying attention to now, if you’ve…
Posted by Samantha on 06/10/12 | Comments 1

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