No. 10 in a row for fast-starting Winterhawks
Portland Winterhawks 5, SEATTLE THUNDERBIRDS 2
Friday night, ShoWare Center (Kent, Wash.), 3,557 announced attendance
The Hawks scored three unanswered goals in the first 8:20 and outshot the T-Birds 41-22 en route to their 10th consecutive victory.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Winterhawks continue to lead the Western Hockey League with 27 points in 17 games. They have a three-point lead in the U.S. Division over Seattle and Spokane, both also after 17 games. Eastern Conference leader Calgary has 23 points in 16 games.
Brendan Leipsic scored at 3:45 (power play) and 7:21 to give Portland a 2-0 lead.
Taylor Leier also had two goals. He made the score 4-0 on a power play at 7:01 of the second period, then hit an empty net with 58 seconds remaining.
Nic Petan and Oliver Bjorkstrand each had two assists.
Brendan Burke got the win, with 20 saves.
Shots in the first period: Portland 15, Seattle 2
WHL scoring leaders: 1st Mitch Holmberg, Spokane, 18 goals-24 assists-42 points. T2nd Bjorkstrand 14-20-34 and Petan 10-24-34. 4th Sam Reinhart, Kootenay 9-19-28. Holmberg and Petan lead the league in assists.
WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE
Portland 13-3-0-1 (27) (U.S. Division leader)
Kelowna 10-2-0-2 (22) (B.C. Division leader)
Spokane 12-5-0-0 (24)
Seattle 11-4-0-2 (24)
Everett 10-3-2-0 (22)
Victoria 9-8-0-1 (19)
Tri-City 8-8-0-2 (18)
Prince George 7-8-1-3 (18)
Vancouver 6-10-1-1 (14)
Kamloops 5-10-1-0 (11)
The Winterhawks face another tough Western Conference opponent when they play at Spokane, 7 p.m. Saturday (KPAM 860 AM). Portland is 2-0-0-0 against the Chiefs this season.
Spokane snapped a two-game losing streak with a 6-4 win Friday at Vancouver. Adam Helewka scored four straight goals, including the game-winner in the third period. He also had an assist.