PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS 5, Vancouver Giants 2
Monday night, Moda Center, 6,044 announced attendance
Five players scored for the Hawks, who trailed for only 5:18, all in the first period.
Portland spotted Vancouver the opening goal, then got the equalizer at 12:33 of the first period. The Winterhawks took the lead at 19:16 and extended it to 3-1 at 4:36 of the second period.
The Giants got within 3-2 at 7:08 of period No. 3, scoring with the man advantage.
But the Hawks went ahead 4-2 at 13:52, then added an empty-net goal with 1:21 to go.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Hawks have won their last five games, by a 25-9 count.
Portland pushed its U.S. Division lead over idle Seattle to six points.
The Winterhawks, with 67 points in 48 games, climbed two ahead of Western Hockey League Eastern Conference leader Calgary, which has 65 points in 46 games.
Kelowna leads the West with 76 points in 45 games.
Brendan Leipsic had three assists and his 27th goal of the season, the empty-netter.
Mathew Dumba, the midseason arrival on defense from the NHL Minnesota Wild, got his first goal as a Winterhawk. He scored on a power play with 44 seconds left in the opening frame to put Portland in front 2-1.
Defenseman Derrick Pouliot, the WHL player of the week for last week, continued his offensive contributions with the Hawks' first goal of the night and an assist on Dumba's goal.
In order, Pouliot (his 12th goal of the season), Dumba (1st), Paul Bittner (14th), Nic Petan (22nd) and Leipsic scored for the Winterhawks.
Oliver Bjorkstrand had two assists.
Backup goalie Corbin Boes picked up the victory, stopping 36 shots.
Petan and Bjorkstrand are 2-3 in WHL scoring. Spokane's Mitch Holmberg leads with 84 points in 46 games (42 goals, 42 assists). Petan, in 39 games, has 75 points (22 goals, 53 assists). Bjorkstrand, in 45 games, has 66 points (30 goals, 36 assists). Two players, Jaedon Descheneau of Kootenay and Joshua Winquist of Everett, are tied for fourth with 62 points.
Vancouver had nine power plays, but got only one goal out of them.
WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE
Kelowna 37-6-0-2 (76) (B.C. Division leader)
Portland 31-12-2-3 (67) (U.S. Division leader)
Victoria 30-16-0-2 (62)
Seattle 87-14-2-3 (61)
Spokane 27-15-2-2 (58)
Everett 25-14-6-1 (57)
Vancouver 23-17-5-3 (54)
Tri-City 22-21-2-2 (48)
Prince George 17-24-2-5 (41)
Kamloops 10-31-2-3 (25)
The Winterhawks return to Moda Center for a 7 p.m. Friday game against Everett (KPAM 860 AM).