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Victory puts Hawks in the driver's seat

The Portland Winterhawks have taken over their first-round series with Everett in the Western Hockey League playoffs.

Portland leads the series, 2-1, heading into the fourth game, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Everett's Comcast Arena.

The Winterhawks, led by their top line of Nic Petan, Brendan Leipsic and Ty Rattie, overwhelmed the Silvertips and won 7-3 Wednesday night in Everett. The Hawks scored five goals on 24 shots in the first two periods on Everett goalie Austin Lotz, and added two more on six shots against Lotz's replacement, Daniel Cotton.

Leipsic, Petan and Rattie combined for four goals and four assists. Goalie Mac Carruth, who faced a franchise low-tying 11 shots in the series' second game, faced only 13 shots on Wednesday.

Portland has now outscored Everett 11-4 in the past two games, after putting 58 shots on Lotz in Game 1 and losing. Petan has three goals and four assists (seven points) to lead the Hawks in scoring.

Game 5 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The WHL playoffs have seen some unexpected results, so far.

Seattle leads Kelowna 3-1 with three overtime wins,, although the Rockets bounced back with a dominating performance in Game 4. Spokane leads Tri-City 2-1 heading into Thursday's Game 4.

In the Eastern Conference, Medicine Hat shocked Saskatoon with a four-game sweep, and Red Deer swept Prince Albert.