Cederholm's OT goal lifts Winterhawks
Portland Winterhawks 3, TRI-CITY AMERICANS 2 (OT)
Friday night, Toyota Center, Kennewick, Wash., 4,815 announced attendance
Swedish defenseman Anton Cederholm's goal 56 seconds into overtime gave the Winterhawks a winning start after their 10-day holiday break.
WHAT IT MEANS
Portland doubled its Western Hockey League U.S. Division lead, which is now four points over both Seattle and Everett, with Spokane only six points out of first place and Tri-City bringing up the rear. Seattle is 9-1 in its last 10 outings and won 3-2 at Everett on Friday.
B.C. Division leader Kelowna remains on a tear and is eight points better than the Winterhawks in two fewer games played. The Rockets won their 13th game in a row Friday, beating Kamloops 7-1 at Kelowna.
Brendan Burke made 19 saves to get the win. His season record is 21-7-2-2.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, returning from a world juniors stint with Denmark, put Portland ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal at 3:21 of the second period.
Defenseman Garrett Haar gave the Winterhawks a 2-2 tie midway through the third period.
Cederholm, a fifth-round NHL draft pick in 2013 by the Vancouver Canucks, had scored only one other goal in this, his WHL rookie season.
Dominic Turgeon and Layne Viveiros assisted on the game-winner.
Portland continued to play without forwards Nic Petan and Taylor Leier and D-man Derrick Pouliot, all with Canada at the world juniors championship at Malmo, Sweden through the first week of January. Also sidelined for Portland: forward Brendan Leipsic, serving a league suspension.
Bjorkstrand is fourth in WHL scoring with 57 points (26 goals, 31 assists). Petan is second with 20-46-66. Spokane's Mitch Holmberg tops the chart with 37-38-75, and Everett's Joshua Winquist is third at 26-33-59. Three players are tied for fifth with 51 points.
Portland held Tri-City to 21 shots, while taking 30.
WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE
Kelowna 29-3-0-2 (60) (B.C. Division leader)
Portland 24-8-2-2 (52) (U.S. Division leader)
Victoria 24-13-0-2 (50)
Seattle 22-10-1-3 (48)
Everett 22-11-4-0 (48)
Spokane 22-12-0-2 (46)
Vancouver 17-13-5-2 (41)
Tri-City 17-16-2-2 (38)
Prince George 14-19-2-3 (33)
Kamloops 9-24-2-2 (22)
The Winterhawks play host to Tri-City at 7 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Coliseum (KPAM 860 AM).