Winterhawks snap skid, blank Chiefs
The Portland Winterhawks ended a four-game skid with a 3-0 win Friday at Spokane.
Portland was able to maintain a four-point over Kelowna in the Western Hockey League Western Conference. The Hawks (38-7-1-2) hit the 79-point mark with 24 regular-season games remaining, while Kelowna won 4-3 in overtime at Seattle on Friday to improve to 36-10-2-1 (75 points) with 23 games left.
The Hawks avenged losses of 5-2 and 5-4 (in a shootout) to Spokane, as Mac Carruth stopped 36 shots and set a franchise record with his ninth career shutout. Carruth has had five shutouts this season, which ties the Portland record set in 2000-01 by Lanny Ramage.
Portland's big offensive guns Ty Rattie, Nick Petan and Brendan Leipsic each had a power-play goal before the announced crowd of 6,007 at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
Rattie got his 24th goal of the season at 10:29 of the first period. Petan's 32nd goal came at 17:22 of the opening frame. Leipsic notched his 31st goal of 2012-13 at 14:01 of the third period.
Portland was 3 for 7 on power plays, while the Chiefs whiffed on their seven opportunities.
Portland defenseman Troy Rutkowski had an assist on Rattie's goal and set the club record by playing in his 327th WHL game.
Rattie had an assist on Petan's score, as he stretched his point streak to 12 games, with five goals and 12 assists for January.
Defenseman Seth Jones had an assist on Portland's two closing goals. He has 25 assists and eight goals in 38 games this season and ranks fourth among WHL rookies in points (33).
In season scoring, Petan has a league-leading 83 points, Leipsic is second with 78 and Rattie is tied for fifth at 65.
Petan has a plus-47 rating, while Leipsic and Rattie are at plus-34.
Carruth is 21-3-0-2 this season, with 1.89 goals allowed per game and a .934 save percentage. He ranks second in the WHL in the latter two categories, just behind Edmonton's Tristan Jarry (1.60, .936), who is 12-5-0-0 in 18 games, eight fewer than Carruth.
The Winterhawks return to the ice on Saturday in a 7 p.m. game at Tri-City (28-18-1-2, 59 points). The Americans lost 6-5 at home to Medicine Hat on Friday.