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Portland beats Everett again, keeps U.S. Division lead

The Portland Winterhawks are closing in on the U.S. Division and Western Conference titles.

The Winterhawks (47-18-0-3) won for the second night in a row in Everett with a 2-1 road win over the Silvertips (27-30-7-4) Saturday, with netminder Keith Hamilton stopping 36 of 37 shots.

Hamilton has played recently with No. 1 goalie Mac Carruth injured.

The Winterhawks remain first in the Western Conference with 97 points.

Portland got the lone goal of the first period when Nino Niederreiter scored his 38th of the season on a power play 3:42 into the game. It extended his goal-scoring streak to seven games, a span in which he has 11 goals.

Everett tied the game at 1-1 when Parker Stanfield scored a power-play goal 3:01 into the second period, the lone goal of the frame.

The Winterhawks regained the lead at the 8:51 mark of the third period when Brendan Leipsic beat Silvertips netminder Luke Siemens to give the Hawks a 2-1 advantage, a score that would stand as the final.

Hamilton won for the second night in a row, stopping 36 of 37 Everett shots, and improved his record to 15-5-0-2. Siemens finished with 30 saves on 32 Portland shots.

Portland finishes out the regular season with four games over the next week, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday when they host the Vancouver Giants at the Rose Garden.