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Big goals put Hawks in sight of bigger goal

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After another offensive explosion, the Portland Winterhawks are on the verge of closing out their first-round Western Hockey League series against the Everett Silvertips.

Portland pasted Everett 11-4 Friday at Comcast Arena in Everett, and lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 and the Hawks can close it out in a home game, 7 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Winterhawks' top line continued to churn out the points, as Ty Rattie and Brendan Leipsic each had five points in the Friday blowout. Rattie had a hat trick and two assists and Leipsic two goals and three assists.

Portland led 5-1 after the first period, beginning the scoring onslaught with Rattie's tally 8:02 into the period.

Since dropping the series opener 4-3, despite pounding Everett goalie Austin Lotz with 58 shots, the Hawks have outscored their foe 22-8 in the past three games.

In other WHL playoff action Friday, the Edmonton Oil Kings, who beat the Hawks in last season's WHL finals and stand as the likely other WHL favorite along with Portland, eliminated Kootenay in five games with a 4-1 win.