The Portland Winterhawks are halfway through their 2014-15 season, and after a slow start, they look like they will be dominating the U.S. Division and Western Conference.
CatlinSpeak attended the annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Dec. 6. The Hawks pulled through with a 5-3 victory against the Everett Silvertips.
The Hawks showed off their offensive prowess, with Paul Bittner, Miles Koules, and Keegan Iverson dominating the play.
The Hawks also changed their goalie lineup. They made Adin Hill the starting goalie and Brendan Burke the alternate. Hill already has impressive stats as a backup goalie.
Although they have been doing well, the Hawks defense needs a lot of fine tuning if they want to continue dominating the Western Hockey League.
Throughout the game against Everett, the Portland defense amounted to nothing. If Adin Hill had not been in the net, the point margin would have been a lot closer.
In past years, the Winterhawks have traded draft picks in order to help beef up their defense. The Winterhawks will have to decide, if they would like to have a shot at the Memorial Cup, or focus on building up the team for next year.
The Winterhawks also have an open 20-year-old spot. Each team can have up to two 20-year-olds on a team; the Winterhawks might be able to pick up a 20-year-old to help their weak defensive lines.
On Dec. 7, the Hawks also were able to win 4-1 against the Medicine Hat Tigers, who are second in the Eastern conference. Portland continues to decisively win against some of the top teams in the league.