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Leipsic, Hill help Hawks end skid

Forward scores in return from WHL suspension as Portland wins 4-1 at Everett


by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Brendan Leipsic got back on the ice for the Portland Winterhawks on Wednesday as they won 4-1 at Everett.Portland Winterhawks 4, EVERETT SILVERTIPS 1

Wednesday night, Comcast Arena, 3,189 announced attendance

HIGHLIGHTS

Forward Brendan Leipsic's return gave the Hawks a lift — and he gave them the tiebreaking goal with eight minutes to go, as Portland won a key Western Hockey League U.S. Division road game.

The victory went to Adin Hill, 17, of Calgary, who was called up the day of the game and saved 28 shots in his WHL debut.HILL

WHAT IT MEANS

The Winterhawks snapped a four-game losing streak and increased their division lead to three points over second-place Seattle.

Portland has 56 points, Seattle 53, Spokane and Everett 52 each and Tri-City 42.

TOP PERFORMERS

• Leipsic had been on WHL suspension for a hit and match penalty on Dec. 17 versus Seattle. His goal was his 21st of the season, and he also had an assist on Portland's first goal.

• Defenseman Derrick Pouliot, one of three Winterhawks just back from representing Canada at the world junior championships in Sweden, scored on a power play nine seconds into the second period to give Portland a 1-0 lead. The Hawks barreled in on Everett goalie Austin Lotz, who blocked two shots before Pouliot scored over him.

• Also back from the world juniors, forward Nic Petan got an assist on Leipsic's goal.

• Forward Taylor Leier also returned from the world tournament for Portland.

• Forward Adam De Champlain also scored for Portland. He got his fourth goal of the season at 14:15 of the third period to hike the Hawks' lead to 3-1.

NOTES

• Portland's final goal came from Keegan Iverson, who found an empty net with 17 seconds left. It was his 10th goal of the season. 

• Everett has lost four games in a row.

• Each team had 29 shots.

• The Hawks are still awaiting the arrival of defenseman Mathew Dumba, their new acquisition from the NHL Minnesota Wild.

KEY STAT

• Everett failed to score on six power-play opportunities.

WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE

STANDINGS

Kelowna 33-5-0-2 (68) (B.C. Division leader)

Portland 26-12-2-2 (56) (U.S. Division leader)

Victoria 28-14-0-2 (58)

Seattle 24-14-2-3 (53)

Spokane 25-13-0-2 (52)

Everett 23-13-5-1 (52)

Vancouver 21-15-5-2 (49)

Tri-City 19-19-2-2 (42)

Prince George 16-22-2-4 (38)

Kamloops 10-28-2-2 (24)

NEXT

The Winterhawks have a three-game weekend in British Columbia, facing Victoria at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Vancouver at 5 p.m. Sunday. (KPAM 860 AM).

The Royals beat the shorthanded Hawks 3-2 at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 4.