Ty treats 'home' fans

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

Ty Rattie had his own cheering section.

It was only fitting the Portland Winterhawks rookie gave them something to crow about.

The Airdrie product had a goal and an assist in yesterday's 6-5 loss to the Calgary Hitmen at the Dome.

"I had quite a few friends and family here," Rattie said.

"It was nice to score a goal for them."

Rattie, who now has five points in his first seven WHL contests this season, said he's still adapting to the speed of major junior hockey.

"Obviously, it's a big jump from midget," he said. "It's a lot faster, and you have to make your decisions a lot quicker. But it's a fun league to be in. I'm getting more comfortable with each game."

He said his roommates, goaltender Kurtis Mucha and left-winger Riley Boychuk, have taken him under their wings.

"They're both veterans in this league and they know what's coming, so they've guided me along," Rattie said.

The 6-foot, 170-pounder potted 29 goals and 54 points in 34 games last season as a rookie with the triple-A midget UFA Bisons.

He also suited up for 10 games with the Hawks, something head coach Mike Johnston said helped with the youngster's transition.

"He came in this year and had a great camp, but he broke his thumb," Johnston said. "He was out for five or six weeks and is just getting back into it. But he's the type of player -- we saw it tonight -- who can make things happen in the offensive zone. But, like any young player, there's lots to learn. It's a tough league."

He showed off those high-level skills yesterday.

His two-on-one pass for Luke Walker was blocked, but Rattie picked the puck up behind the net and scored on a wraparound.

His second goal of the season gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead. But, while the visitors eventually lost, the spirits in Portland are soaring these days.

The Winterhawks will take their 8-5-0 record into Medicine Hat tomorrow night.


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