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Leier nets Teddy Bear goal, helps Hawks beat Seattle 4-2

Taylor Leier's "Teddy Bear goal" — and then his second goal about a minute and a half later — ignited the Portland Winterhawks to a 4-2 home win over Seattle on Saturday.

Leier scored the first goal of the game at 3:24 of the first period, and it sent 12,814 stuffed animals flying onto the ice at the Rose Garden on the team's annual benefit night for local children's charities.

The sellout crowd of 10.947 responded to Leier's opening goal, which was unassisted.

The Hawks led 2-0 after one period and took a 3-0 lead on Derrick Pouliot's goal four minutes into the second period.

Seattle scored early in the third period, but Taylor Peters' goal at 6:31 gave Portland a 4-1 cushion, and the Thunderbirds managed only a goal at 18:44 on a power play the rest of the way against goalie Mac Carruth, who made a total of 25 saves.

Portland had 35 shots in winning its fourth game in a row.

The Winterhawks will take the best record in the Western Hockey League (27-5-1-0, 55 points) into their 5 p.m. Sunday road game at Everett (13-21-0-2, 28 points).

Seattle is 16-16-1-1, with 34 points.