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On This Day: March 20, 1998

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In lieu of the Portland Winterhawks winning the 2019-20 Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy, the Hawks will spend the spring reviewing some of their most memorable playoff moments over the years. From historic goals to future NHL stars and championship-winning teams, re-live some of Portland’s iconic nights in the postseason.

March 20, 1998: The Portland Winterhawks opened the 1998 WHL Playoffs with a 7-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Rose Garden Arena in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.

In front of over 9,000 fans, Portland found its scoring touch 30 seconds into the game on the first shot as Brenden Morrow, a first round NHL Draft pick of the Dallas Stars who went on to play over 1,000 NHL games, netted his first playoff goal and 35th overall of the season to make it 1-0.

Dean “Scooter” Vrooman was busy on the broadcast as the Hawks quickly added to their lead, taking a 5-1 advantage to the locker room through 40 minutes of hockey.

Morrow and teammate Todd Robinson each scored twice in the lopsided victory and Robinson matched his WHL career high with five points. Forward Bobby Russell (G-2A) and defenseman Andrew Ference (3A) both recorded three points and a +4 rating in their 1998 WHL Playoff debut. Portland, who went 11-2-0-0 during the 1997-98 regular season against Seattle, scored two power play goals and two shorthanded goals that night.

The top-seeded Winterhawks went on to win the series 4-games-to-1 and this team went on to win the organization’s second WHL Championship and Memorial Cup. Safe to say this won’t be the last update in the “On This Date” series from the 1997-98 Portland Winterhawks.

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