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Wotherspoon sparks Winterhawks to 11th straight win

Defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon's career-high two goals, with one assist, helped the Portland Winterhawks extend their winning streak to 11 games with a 6-4 home victory Tuesday night over Prince George.

Portland, which returned several players from world junior competition, will meet the Cougars again at 7 p.m. Wednesday, also at Memorial Coliseum.

The Hawks' Brendan Leipsic extended his scoring streak to nine games with an assist in Tuesday's win. He has four goals and 13 assists for 17 points during the streak.

Brendan Burke picked up the win in net with 33 saves before the announced crowd of 3,064.

Wotherspoon and forward Ty Rattie, who had two assists, were playing their first games back after returning from the junior tournament in Russia. Forwards Keegan Iverson and Dominic Turgeon returned to the Hawks after winning bronze at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Defenseman Seth Jones remained out of the lineup, although D-man Derrick Pouliot played for the first time since suffering a lower body injury in Portland’s last game before the holiday break.

Prince George scored the opening goal after 2:11 and led 2-1 after one period. Goals by Troy Rutkowski, Turgeon and Wotherspoon gave Portland a 4-2 edge after two periods. Paul Bittner's goal at 9:39 of the third period increased the lead to 5-2. The Cougars scored at 17:12, but Rutkowski found an empty net at 18:31. Prince George added a goal with 41 seconds remaining.

The Winterhawks improved their Western Hockey League-best record to 34-5-1-0. Prince George fell to 12-23-1-4.