Slideshow: Portland Winterhawks' WHL championship season
COURTESY PHOTOS: PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS/MATT WOLFE, KEITH DWIGGINS, MEGAN CONNELLY, DONNOVAN MACGOWAN
The Portland Winterhawks' 2019-20 season was a championship one — even though the Western Hockey League canceled its playoffs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the fourth time since the club moved to Portland in 1976, the Winterhawks finished with the WHL's top regular-season record. Portland's 45-11-3-4 mark was good for 97 points. Its .770 winning percentage was better than second-place Everett's .762, and that determined the champion.
The U.S. Division title was Portland's fourth since the WHL went to a four-division format in the 2001-02 season.
The Hawks finished second in the WHL with 270 goals. Their 164 goals against were third fewest in the league.
At home, where they averaged 5,300 fans, the Winterhawks were 26-2-2-2.
This was the ninth year in a row Portland has won at least 40 games, and the 17th time it was won at least 45 games.
The season was highlighted by a 21-game streak without a regulation loss (19-0-1-1).
In his 17-year-old season, Seth Jarvis was second in the WHL in scoring (98 points). Considered a first-round prospect for the 2020 NHL draft, he led Portland in both goals (42) and assists (56).
It was a big year, too, for defenseman Johnny Ludvig and goalie Joel Hofer.
Ludvig, the team captain and a Florida Panthers prospect, finished with career highs of 17 goals and 45 assists for 62 points. He was third among D-men in points and second in assists.
Hofer was especially strong early in the season and finished with a 34-8-3-2 record, allowing 2.49 goals per game and stopping 91.5% of the shots he faced. The highlight of the season for the St. Louis Blues prospect was helping Canada win the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and being named that tournament's top goalie.
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