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Andy Aitkenhead

Andy Aitkenhead - Hockey

Andy Aitkenhead brought the National Hockey League to Portland after having been a goaltender for the New York Rangers, and helped the original Portland Buckaroos build a fan base in the Rose City.

Born in Scotland in 1904, Aitkenhead grew up in Saskatchewan, Canada, and found his way into minor league hockey at age 17. Just 5-foot-8, he developed his skills over the course of the next 10 years with a variety of teams, including the 1924 Saskatoon Nationals, and 1926 Saskatoon Empires, both of which played for the prestigious Allan Cup.

Aitkenhead moved to Portland to play for the Buckaroos of the Pacific Coast Hockey League in 1929 and played two seasons for the team before being signed by the Rangers and assigned to the Bronx Tigers for the ’31-32 season. He moved up to the Rangers the next year.

During his rookie season, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup with Aitkenhead in goal for all eight playoff games. He started in goal the next season, but became a reserve in 1934-35 and found his way back to Portland that season.

In 106 games in the NHL, he won 47, lost 43 and was in goal for 16 ties.

Aitkenhead started in goal for the Buckaroos to close the ’34-35 season and for five more seasons before retiring from the game early in 1940. He is credited with having played 303 games for the Buckaroos with 148 wins.

He died in 1968, and was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.