Winterhawks reclaim 1st with 6-3 win at Everett
Portland Winterhawks 6, EVERETT SILVERTIPS 3
Tuesday night, Comcast Arena, 3,113 announced attendance
Portland scored three unanswered goals in the first 8:20 of the third period to take a 5-1 lead, then went on to win a huge, early-season Western Hockey League match-up.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Hawks leapfrogged the Silvertips for best record in the league and squared their season series 1-1, with eight more meetings to come in the regular season. The 'Tips won the first game 3-2, also at Everett, and they came into Tuesday's rematch on a five-game winning streak.
Six Winterhawks had a goal, and Oliver Bjorkstrand put Portland ahead 4-1 when he lit the lamp with a rebound shot at 7:36 of the third period for his 24th tally of the season.
He assisted 44 seconds later on Chase De Leo's rebound power-play score, and had an assist on Taylor Leier's 20th goal of 2013, which put the Hawks in a 2-1 lead at 14:56 of the middle period.
Brendan Burke made 35 saves and notched his 50th career victory.
For Everett, Joshua Winquist two goals to extend his franchise-record points streak to 18 games. Earlier Tuesday, the WHL named Winquist its player of the month for November. He is fourth in the league in scoring with 23 goals, 29 assists and 52 points, trailing leader Mitch Holmberg (30-34-64) of Spokane, and Nic Petan (19-42-61) and Bjorkstrand (24-30-54) of Portland.
Portland held Everett to one goal in five power-play opportunities, all in the first 30 minutes.
"They're good," Everett coach Kevin Constantine, told the Everett Herald, of the Winterhawks. "I've always said they're going to win their share of 9-2s and 7-2s, and it's going to be really rare when we do. They don't need a lot of chances -- though they got plenty tonight -- and you really have to be on top of every aspect of your game. You have to be very sharp to beat them, and we weren't real sharp tonight.
"I thought the turning point of the game was getting just one goal on our first power-play opportunities. If you're going to get handed the first five power plays of the game and you're really into your game, you get two goals out of that. I think our game was a bit sloppy in the first, and I thought that affected our power play."
Portland coach Mike Johnston, also to the Everett Herald: "The last time we were in here our first two periods were't very good, and we wanted to correct that. I liked our game tonight. We gave up five power plays early, so that gave them a little more momentum than we would have liked. But we played a steady game overall. I liked how we played."
WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE
Portland 21-5-2-1 (45) (U.S. Division leader)
Kelowna 20-3-0-2 (42) (B.C. Division leader)
Everett 20-5-4-0 (44)
Victoria 19-11-0-1 (39)
Spokane 17-10-0-2 (36)
Seattle 16-9-1-3 (36)
Tri-City 16-12-1-2 (35)
Vancouver 12-11-5-2 (31)
Prince George 11-16-1-3 (26)
Kamloops 6-18-2-2 (16)
The Winterhawks play three road games in three nights, starting with a 6 p.m. Friday game at Edmonton (KPAM 860 AM).