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by Graham Kendrick

December 30, 2013, Portland (ISN) – Oliver Bjorkstrand’s big week is chronicled in this week’s newsletter, along with info about the World Junior Championship and tomorrow’s New Year’s Eve game, where fans will be able to come down to the ice after the game to skate with the players and ring in 2014.

Winterhawks Game Schedule This Week:

Date                           Opponent                    Time/Location                     Radio

Tuesday, December 31   Kelowna Rockets        8:00 p.m. at Moda Center     KPAM/winterhawks.com

Thursday, January 2      Kelowna Rockets         7:00 P.M. at VMC                 KPAM/winterhawks.com

Friday, January 3          Tri-City Americans       7:00 p.m. at Tri-Cities          KPAM/winterhawks.com

Saturday, January 4     Victoria Royals             7:00 p.m. at VMC                KPAM/winterhawks.com

Winterhawks Practice Schedule This Week:

Date                                       Time/Location

Monday, December 30        11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Wednesday, January 1        11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Please contact Graham Kendrick at 503-238-5144 or grahamk@winterhawks.com for credentials to Winterhawks games, access to practices and any interview or photo requests. Practice times are subject to change, and media should contact Graham Kendrick to confirm times and locations prior to arriving.

Hawks Happenings On The Ice:

  • Last week was a good one for Oliver Bjorkstrand, with two significant accomplishments. First, he led Team Denmark to the gold medal at the 2014 IIHF U20 World Championship in Division I Group A, which qualified Denmark for the 2015 World Junior Championship. Bjorkstrand had six points in five games to lead Denmark to a perfect 5-0-0-0 record in Sanok, Poland, and earned the award for the Best Forward.

Right after the tournament, Bjorkstrand signed a three-year, entry level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who drafted him in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft. He posted two points in two games against Tri-Cities over the weekend, and is now up to 58 points in 34 games, second on the team and fourth in the league.

  • Denmark win will qualify them for the World Junior Championship next year, which is where Taylor Leier, Nic Petan and Derrick Pouliot, along with Mathew Dumba, are now as they are competing for Team Canada in search of a gold medal. Canada won its first game of the tournament, then lost their second in a shootout, and are playing their third game of the round robin during this writing.
  • The shorthanded Hawks have a big test ahead of them this week with two games against the league leading Kelowna Rockets, who come into Portland with 14 straight wins and a league-high 62 points. The first of those games is New Year’s Eve, with a special 8 p.m. start time. After the game, fans can come down to the ice to skate with Winterhawks players and ring in the new year. Fans can bring their own skates, or go to winterhawks.com for information on online skate rentals.

Hawks Happenings Off The Ice:

  • When the Hawks host Victoria Saturday, the Winterhawks Booster Club will be collecting new or gently-used blankets and socks for Union Gospel Mission, to help “Keep Portland Warm” during the winter season. Winterhawks fans are asked to assist any way they can to help make the cold season a little more comfortable for those in need.