Vancouver tops Winterhawks
Playing from behind most of the night, the Portland Winterhawks dropped their second consecutive Western Hockey League game on Tuesday.
Sparked by an early short-handed goal and burying a series of doorstep chances, the Vancouver Giants beat the Winterhawks 5-3 in Langley, British Columbia.
Joachim Blichfeld had a goal and an assist and Cody Glass and Alex Overhardt scored for Portland (20-6-0-1, 41 points), which continues to lead the U.S. Division.
Own Hardy scored twice in the first period to set the tone for Vancouver (13-13-2-2). His first goal came at 9:16 when he was left alone in front with the Hawks on a power play. He doubled the Giants' lead 18:30 into the game when he spun and shot off a faceoff and surprised Hawks goalie Cole Kehler.
After being shutout at home by Saskatoon on Sunday, Portland was scoreless more than halfway into Tuesday's game before Glass converted from a sharp angle for a power-play goal 12:37 into the second period. A nice pass from the left wing circle to the bottom of the right-wing circle by Blichfeld set up the 20th goal of the season for Glass.
The score remained 2-1 until Aidan Barfoot, open in front, scored for Vancouver off a feed from James Malm at 6:11 of the third period. The score became 4-1 at 8:52 when Malm finished off a slam dunk chance off a nice passing combination with the Winterhawk defenders in scramble mode.
The Hawk gave themselves a chance with a power-play goal by Alex Overhardt at 11:28 of the third period and Blichfeld's goal at 15:28.
But, after a Giants timeout, Vancouver converted a two-on-one chance off the ensuing faceoff for the 5-3 advantage.
Portland created sustained pressure late with Cole Kehler on the bench for an extra attacker for the final 2:28, but could not find another goal.
The five goals allowed match a season-high for Kehler, who had won his previous 10 games decided in regulation. Other than Hardy's shot off a faceoff in the first period, the Giants goals were all from close range with little chance for the Portland goalie to react.
The Winterhawks outshot the Giants 46-38, but Vancouver 18-year-old goalie David Tendeck was solid. Perhaps his biggest save was a right-pad stop to deny a Blichfeld backhand chance with the score still 2-1 in the third period.
Portland finished 2 for 4 on the power play, with the short-handed goal against. Vancouver was 0 for 2.
The Winterhawks play at Everett at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, then come home to play host to Vancouver at 7 p.m. on Friday and Everett at 6 p.m. on Saturday.