Winterhawks prep for first three-game WHL weekend
Portland has its first three-game weekend of the season this week, playing at Spokane at 7 p.m. Friday before home games at 6 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday against Kamloops at Memorial Coliseum.
The Hawks are coming off two impressive Western Hockey League wins over the Vancouver Giants. Portland is responsible for half of Vancouver's four losses.
The Winterhawks scored the final four goals to beat the Giants, 5-3, on Friday. They won 2-1 in overtime on Saturday at Langley, British Columbia, on a goal by defenseman Brendan De Jong.
Portland (7-3-0-1, 15 points) leads a tight U.S. Division. All five teams have winning records. Spokane, which has played one more game than the Hawks, also has 15 points. Fifth-place Tri-City has 12 points.
• Reece Newkirk and Jake Gricius continued productive starts to the season. Newkirk had two goals over the weekend and assisted on De Jong's OT winner. The 17-year-old from Moose Jaw has 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists) through 11 games. Gricius scored twice in Friday's win and with seven goals in 11 games is more than halfway to the career-high 13 he scored as an 18-year-old last season.
The Vikings will go for a third win in a row on Saturday when they kick off at Sacramento State at 6 p.m.
PSU is coming off a bye week, after a 35-14 home win over Northern Colorado.
Sac State lost 41-15 last week at home to a good North Dakota team. The Hornets have dropped four straight since winning 28-25 at Northern Colorado.
UC Davis leads the Big Sky at 4-0. Eastern Washington, Weber State and Idaho State are 3-1. PSU, Montana, Montana State and Northern Arizona are 2-2.
Portland State's defense has been good in recent outings, including in wins at Montana and against Northern Colorado. Sac State is averaging 28.6 points per game (PSU has scored 26.1).
After this week, the Viks will have their hands full as they finish the season with games against Idaho State, North Dakota and Eastern Washington. It won't be easy to go into 2019 on a winning note. But the Viks, who are young at most positions, already have showed progress bouncing back from last year's 0-11 run.
Whitworth (6-0, 4-0 Northwest Conference) remains on course to claim the league title, but Linfield has a good shot at its 62nd consecutive winning season after blanking host George Fox, 14-0, last week. The Wildcats are 4-2 (3-1 NWC, tied for second with Pacific). Linfield's remaining regular-season games are set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at home against Pacific Lutheran, Nov. 3 at Puget Sound and Nov. 10 at home vs. Pacific. Things haven't been easy, though, for a Linfield team that was No. 5 in the preseason poll and returned nine starters on offense from a 9-2 season. The 'Cats' string of nine straight league titles is in serious jeopardy of being snapped.
• Lewis & Clark has two home games remaining in search of its third win and second NWC victory. The Pioneers will play host to George Fox at 1 p.m. Saturday and PLU on Nov. 10.
After a pair of tough losses at Santa Clara and San Francisco, the Portland Pilots women will play their final two home matches of the season this week.
Portland (10-7, 3-3 West Coast Conference) plays host to Loyola Marymount at 7 p.m. Friday and Pepperdine at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Both losses in the Bay Area were by 3-2 scores.
The Pilots held a 2-1 lead in the second half on Friday against No. 7-ranked Santa Clara but, despite some heroic saves from Rachel Lusby, fell on an overtime penalty kick.
Sunday's match at San Francisco had five second-half goals. The Pilots twice cut a two-goal deficits to one, but couldn't find the tying tally. Sophomore forward Taryn Ries scored her WCC-leading 15th goal of the season on Sunday.
• After a week off, the UP men (10-0-3, 2-0-1 WCC) return to league play at USF (3-9-1, 1-2) at 7 p.m. Friday and at Santa Clara (4-8-1, 0-3) at 7 p.m. Sunday.
The Pilots, ranked No. 9 in the nation last week, are second in the conference standings. Their only remaining home match is on Nov. 10 against No. 4 Saint Mary's.
• With a 2-2 draw at Stanford on Thursday and an overtime win at Cal on Sunday, the Oregon State men jumped to second in the Pac-12.
The Beavers (7-4-3, 3-2-1) play their final two home matches this week. San Diego State visits Corvallis at 3 p.m. Thursday, and UCLA visits at 2 p.m. Sunday.
• The season ended Sunday for the Portland State women with a 1-1 draw against Northern Colorado. The Vikings (5-10-1, 3-5-1) finished seventh in the Big Sky, which takes the top six teams into a conference tournament. The Viks had only four seniors this season, including Krystal de Ramos, who scored her fourth goal of the season to earn PSU the draw in its final match.