KENT, Wash. - The Portland Winterhawks scored three unanswered goals in the final 8:46 to pull away from the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday night.
Portland's 6-3 victory raised its Western Hockey League to 2-0-0-0.
The Hawks complete their three-game weekend at Tri-City at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Portland and Seattle, which was playing its first game, traded goals for the first 50-plus minutes. After a scoreless first period, the T-Birds took a 1-0 lead early in the second frame, only to have Ty Rattie tie the score on a power play at 8:22 of the period.
Brad Ross' goal gave the Winterhawks a 2-1 lead at 14:32.
At 1:12 of the third period, Seattle evened the count. Troy Rutkowski gave the Hawks a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal at 3:48 of the final period. Sixty seconds later, Seattle knotted the score.
But then it was Portland's youth and firepower that made the difference. Brendan Leipsic gave the Hawks the lead for good at 11:14, and Nic Petan scored 39 seconds later. With 55 seconds left, Rattie found an empty net.
Derrick Pouliot had four assists for Portland. Brad Ross picked up two assists.
Mac Carruth went the distance in goal for the Winterhawks and made 21 saves.
The Hawks enjoyed an edge in shots 46-24 before the announced crowd of 5,160 at ShoWare Center.
Portland was 2 for 4 with the man advantage and 2 of 2 on the penalty kill.