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SCORESHEET: Winterhawks set preseason, Akpla cut, OSU adds coach, Barney hot, Dunigan hopeful

The Portland Winterhawks will open their Western Hockey League preseason on Friday, Aug. 30.

The WHL champion Hawks will take on Spokane at 3 p.m. in the opener, part of a tournament at Everett.

Portland will play Aug. 31 against Tri-City and Sept. 1 against Everett during the tournament, as well.

Also on the Portland preseason slate: a Sept. 6 game against Everett and Sept. 7 game versus Seattle, both at Kennewick, Wash.

• The WHL regular season is expected to start Sept. 19, and the Hawks are on tap to open their season on Friday, Sept. 20 against Prince George in the Rose Garden.

Portland also is planning to have its annual New Year's Eve game, but is likely to play Kelowna this year, not Seattle.

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Elvis Akpla, former Lincoln High receiver, makes a catch for Montana State in a 2011 game at Jeld-Wen Field against DeShawn Shead and the Portland State Vikings.• Elvis Akpla, former Lincoln High receiver, was cut by the B.C. Lions, who open their Canadian Football League season Friday at Calgary.

It came as a surprise to some CFL observers that Akpla didn't at least rate a spot on the Lions' practice squad, leading to speculation that the ex-Montana State standout could be picked up by another team.

• More from the Midwest: Oregon State men's basketball coach Craig Robinson, who is from Chicago, has hired former Wisconsin guard (2001-04) Freddie Owens as an assistant coach.

Owens was on the staff at Montana the past four seasons. Robinson coached against Owens when the Milwaukee native played for the Badgers.

• Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney may not have a lot to write home about this season, but he has gone 7 for 16 in the past four games, heading into Tuesday.

Barney has raised his batting average from .201 two weeks ago to .230.

Batting first for only the sixth time this season, the former Southridge High and Oregon State star had a single, double and his fourth home run of the season last Friday as the Cubs won 3-1 at home over Houston.

The Cubs (31-43) play Friday-Sunday in Seattle against the Mariners (34-43).

• Portland Eastside Barbers, a Madison High-based American Legion team, led the AAA Legion Zone 2 standings going into this week. The Barbers were 6-0, two games ahead of Wilson's Alpenrose Dairy Red Sox (4-2).

North Willamette Valley (North Marion) was 4-4, Northwest Star Academy (Sandy) 2-2, Taylor Electric (Putnam) 1-3 and Team Sports (David Douglas) 0-6.

• Mike Dunigan, the former Oregon Ducks basketball big man who left school early, is preparing to play for the Miami Heat summer-league team.

If that doesn't work out, one option for Dunigan is a return to the Perth Wildcats, a pro team in Australia. The 6-10 Dunigan, 23, wowed the Wildcats during his four-game stint with them last season.

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