real time fan discussion
Now for the longest 20 min. in our season.
To this point...Paul Buker on MJ:
“You know what makes this special?’’ he said. “You watch guys like (Troy) Rutkowski and (Tyler) Wotherspoon raise the trophy up. They were 15 or 16 years old when you first met them. And now you see them finishing their careers like this. You see Rutkowski, playing at home (he’s from Edmonton), raising that trophy. You see Ty Rattie get three goals. … I mean, what a story. It was just a phenomenal run.’’
Johnston said he had supreme confidence in the Hawks’ ability to overcome all obstacles this season, whether it was the WHL sanctions, or Michael St. Croix’s overtime goal that forced a Game 6.
“It’s one thing when you’re worried about a team because you don’t think they have what it takes to win, maybe you don’t have the personnel, or the character. But our team, through the course of the season, they proved time and time again, if it’s a big game, they will rise up.’’
“We had that 1-0 lead right off the hop and there was lots of energy in the building, lots of energy in our game, then to give up a couple of goals on the power play, it just deflates you,” said head coach Derek Laxdal. “It basically took us out of the game and fuelled their energy.
“We left it on the ice,” said Lazar. “We battled hard and Portland is heck of a team. Good luck to them.”Terry Jones
They trudged down the hall to the dressing room after shaking hands with the Portland Winterhawks, heads down and tears in the eyes of most of the guys.
On Mother’s Day a year earlier, the Edmonton Oil Kings carried the Ed Chynoweth Cup on the same ice against the same team.
On this day, after another exceptional season, the Oil Kings didn’t look like they deserved to be on the same ice as they lost a third straight series game at home, this one by the embarrassing score of 5-1.Chris O'Leary
After Ty Rattie’s hat trick led the way to a 5-1 win, after Western Hockey League commissioner Ron Robison handed Rattie the Ed Chynoweth Cup, and after all of the Portland Winterhawks took turns hoisting the trophy with their censor-riffic cheers echoing through an emptying Rexall Place, the torch was officially passed.
The Winterhawks wrapped up the WHL final in six games over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday. They gathered at centre ice, piled over top of one another on the Oil Kings’ logo and posed for a team photo, physically pushing the past aside and assuming their spot as kings of the league.Tribune:
Rattie's three goals gave him a WHL-playoff record 50 for his career, and the first two turned the course of Game 6 in the first period.
"My dad told me before the game that big-time players step up in big-time games," said Rattie, a St. Louis Blues prospect from Airdrie, Alberta.
Rattie was named MVP, which goes to the outstanding player in all four rounds of the WHL playoffs.
"This feeling isn't going to go away for a long time," Rattie said. "We knew we had the team to be here. We just had to finish the job."
This game was much like the rest of the series, in that the Oil Kings couldn't score unless the 'Hawks made drastic mistakes, and the 'Hawks 2nd line was key. That snipe by Bjorkstand was amazing: the release on that shot was so good the cameraman lost the puck. LB got some of it, but not enough of it.
If that goal cancels the Pouliot own-goal, then all that is left is the Rattie hat trick. Dude ended up with 50 career playoff goals, which is amazing. Comparing eras, where there were literally twice the scoring as there is now, and we just witnessed a guy put up an all-time number. His 1st playoff goal was that Game 7 OT winner in Spokane, the last 3 were tonight. Three game winners in this series. We just witnessed a truly special junior career - with one tournament yet to be played.
Such a special season. The main factors in my mind are obviously the sanctions, particularly the loss of Mike Johnston. At that point, you've taken a team that was 20-4 and made them the underdogs. They have their backs up against the wall - its "us against the world" - no better motivator than that.
The NHL lockout had a heavy affect on this team. Its all 'what if' - but I believe that all three overagers: Carruth, Rutowski, and Peters make AHL teams in a normal year. The fact that we entered these playoffs with all 3 of them signed to pro deals backs this up. You NEVER have 3 signed overagers in major junior - your 20's are generally guys who haven't singed pro deals, and are trying to decide between going to school or trying to catch on in the minors.
This team had a Captain, a record setting goalie, and a guy who took virtually every defensive zone faceoff for the last 2 months fall into our laps, rather than playing in the AHL. There is huge value there.
For me, one of the biggest things about winning the WHL may be that the Winterhawks are not the Buffalo Bills - who lost 4 straight Superbowls, being the butt of choking jokes forever.
Next game, in Saskatoon, against Halifax. 1st on the list - stopping this dude: