In Portland, the Winterhawks erased a 1-0 deficit and beat the Spokane Chiefs 2-1 in Game 2 of the Western Conference final. . . . The series is tied 1-1 with Games 3 and 4 in Spokane on Wednesday and Friday nights. Game 5 will be played Saturday at the Rose Garden in Portland. . . . F Matt Marantz gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead at 17:49 of the first period, only to have D William Wrenn pull the Winterhawks even at 18:22. . . . That was Wrenn’s first playoff goal. He had two goals in 29 regular-season games after leaving Denver University and joining the Winterhawks in midseason. . . . Portland F Ryan Johansen broke the tie at 7:38 of the second period, via the PP. . . . The Winterhawks were 1-for-3 on the PP; the Chiefs were 0-for-2. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 34 shots, as did Spokane’s James Reid. . . . Attendance at the Rose Garden was 6,506. . . . Portland F Craig Cunningham, who was acquired from the Vancouver Giants during the season, played in the 70th playoff game of his career. Cunningham has played at least 10 playoff games in each of his five WHL season. Seventeen other players have played at least 70 WHL playoff games, led by F Shay Stephenson of the Red Deer Rebels (2000-04). He got into 87. In fact, six of the top 18 in that category played for the Rebels during that time. . . . This also was the first time in the last nine playoff meetings between these teams that the home team won. A year ago, they played a seven-game series in which the visitors won each game. The Chiefs opened this series with a 2-1 victory in Portland on Friday. . . .
“They had us on our heels at times,” Nachbaur said. “Whether that was their game or our game, you have to give them credit. When all is said and done it could have gone either way,” Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur told Dave Trimmer of the Spokane Spokesman-Review. . . . Portland GM/head coach Mike Johnston, looking at Wrenn’s goal coming 33 seconds after Spokane scored, told Trimmer: “It was good to get that response goal, it was a key turning point in the game. They had just scored and you start to think, ‘Jeez, are we ever going to get one here?’ I liked our response and I thought we were good in the areas we had to be good.”
SUNDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Drew Edwards of the Hamilton Spectator reports that at least some minor hockey organizers in that area are taking a serious look at concussions.
“All 244 players on the 14 teams of Hamilton Reps Hockey Club will be given a computerized neuro-cognitive test before the season and, should they suffer a head injury, be tested again,” Edwards writes. “Until their post-concussion test results resemble their pre-season baseline tests, players will not be allowed to return to action.”
It seems that the Guelph Minor Hockey Association also is on board and will test all 1,100 of its players.
That story is right here.
After mention here a couple of days ago about Paul Kelly, the executive director of College Hockey Inc., taking some Division I coaches into Sherwood Park, Alta., for a camp, I got an email about a camp that was held in Penticton.
According to an emailer, the camp was held by the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.
“There were coaches from 11 Division 1 schools and the invitation-only camp had the top 80 bantam players from B.C. and Washington State. They put on a great presentation and Q and A session for players and parents, plus two days of games.”
Obviously, the NCAA versus CHL is going to be a big, big story. The WHL spent this weekend holding its annual camp in Anaheim, but I don’t recall the NCAA ever having this kind of a hockey presence in Western Canada.
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