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The Portland Winterhawks celebrate their 5-3 victory against the Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.Advantage, Winterhawks.


Portland beat Seattle 5-3 Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum to take a 3-1 series lead on the Thunderbirds.

Game 6 of their Western Hockey League first-rounder is 7 p.m. Tuesday on Seattle's ice in Kent, Wash.

If necessary, Game 7 would be 7 p.m. Wednesday at Memorial Coliseum.

The teams traded wins the first four games of the series, with the T-Birds leading 1-0 and 2-1. But Portland evened things at 2-2 with an 8-5 victory Thursday at Seattle and on Saturday got two goals from Paul Bittner, two assists and an empty-net late goal from Oliver Bjorkstrand, as goalie Adin Hill turned away 27 of the 30 shots he faced.

TRIBUNE PHOTOS: KENT FRASURE

A referee separates Portland's Blake Heinrich (right) and Seattle's Ryan Gropp.Winterhawks goalie Adin Hill tires to stop Seattle's Shea Theodore.Paul Bittner of Portland challenges Seattle goaltender Taran Kozun.Layne Viveiros of the Winterhawks looks for the puck.Alex Schoenborn fires a shot for the Hawks.Portland's Adam Henry chases the puck ahead of Seattle's Ryan Gropp.Dominic Turgeon of the Hawks hits the ice as Seattle's Nolan Volcan tries to get the puck.Alex Schoenborn (left) of Portland maintains possession.Young fans show their feelings about Portland's opponent.Anton Cederholm works to clear the puck for Portland.Chase De Leo (right) tries a pass from behind the net for Winterhawks teammate Alex Schoenborn (left).

Portland's Oliver Bjorkstrand and Seattle goalie Taran Kozun fight for position.Winterhawk fans go wild after their team scores against Seattle.The Portland bench erupts.Winterhawk fans like what they see.Nicolas Petan battles for Portland on a faceoff.Chase De Leo of Portland gets into a tussle with the Thunderbirds.Dominic Turgeon (right), goalie Adin Hill and other Winterhawks celebrate as Portland wins 5-3 to take a 3-2 lead in its best-of-seven playoff series with Seattle.

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