Winterhawks top Medicine Hat
Cody Glass continued finding the net and Joachim Blichfeld scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Medicine Hat Tigers 5-2 on Wednesday.
The win capped a five-win trip through the six-team Western Hockey League Central Division and improved the Winterhawks to 20-4-0-1.
With 41 points, Portland has an 11-point lead on second-place Tri-City in the U.S. Division. B.C. Division-leading Victoria is three points back of Portland in the Western Conference.
Medicine Hat, which had won seven of its previous 10 games, is 15-10-0-0 atop the Central Division.
Mason Mannek had a goal and an assist and Jake Gricius also scored for Portland.
Cole Kehler stopped 29 of 31 shots for his 17th win of the season. With the score 3-2 midway through the third period, Kehler made a stop to deny Mark Rassell after he made a nice move on the rush to get to the front of the net.
The go-ahead goal was a strong individual play by Blichfeld 1:07 into the third quarter.
Skating from behind the goal line, Blichfeld stole the puck from Medicine Hat's James Hamblin. In one motion he turned and fired the puck past goalie Jordan Hollett.
Glass scored on an early power play, getting to the front of the net and deflecting a Blichfeld blast past Hollett, Ottawa Senators 2017 draft pick.
Gricius made it 2-0 midway through the first period on a goal similar to Blichfeld's go-ahead strike. Mannek knocked the puck off the stick of a Tiger right to Gricius who turned and fired from close range.
Glass and Mannek added empty-net goals in the final two minutes.
Glass — last week's WHL and Canadian Hockey League player of the week — has a team-leading 19 goals and 28 assists for 47 points through 25 games.
Glass has goals in five consecutive games and seven of his last eight and has points in 12 consecutive games.
Max Gerlach had a goal and assist and Gary Haden scored for Medicine Hat.
Both teams were 1 for 3 on the power play and Portland had a 38-31 advantage in shots on goal.
After a long bus ride home from Alberta, the Winterhawks will play host to Saskatoon at 5 p.m. Sunday at Moda Center.