Winterhawks win fifth in a row
Goals from four different players carried the Portland Winterhawks to their fifth consecutive win on Wednesday night.
Portland scored the last three goals and beat the Kamloops Blazers 4-2 in a Western Hockey League game witnessed by 5,101 at Moda Center.
Skyler McKenzie, Jake Gricius, Evan Weinger and Caleb Jones scored for the Winterhawks. Rookie goalie Shane Farkas stopped 23 shots in goal for his third consecutive victory.
Portland improved to 27-21-1-2 for 57 points. The Winterhawks remain eighth in the Western Conference, five points back of Kelowna and Victoria and nine points up on ninth-place Spokane.
Kamloops, third in the West, is 31-17-2-2 for 66 points, but the Blazers are winless in three games against Portland.
After a scoreless first period, there were five goals in the second.
Kamloops twice took one-goal leads, but the period ended with Portland up 3-2.
Weinger scored a breakaway goal at 17:09 of the second period to put Portland in front. He forced a turnover in the defensive zone and carried the puck the other way to make it 3-2.
It was Weinger's 16th goal of the season and fourth in the last five games filling in on the top line for injured team captain Keegan Iverson.
Gricius scored his fifth goal of the season to tie it at 2-2 at 15:21 of the second as his shot from below the right faceoff circle found its way between the legs of Kamloops goalie Dylan Ferguson.
McKenzie's 32nd goal of the season tied the score 1-1 at 9:37. He ripped a shot past Ferguson off a faceoff win by Cody Glass.
McKenzie also added an assist as he reached 61 points on the season, joining Glass at the 60-point mark. With two assists on Wednesday, Glass is at 68 points.
Collin Shirley and Luc Smith scored for Kamloops in the second period.
Jones made it 4-2 with 6:21 left when he pounced on a rebound and put the puck into an open net with Ferguson out of the crease in a goal-mouth scramble. A series of quick passes by the Winterhawks deep in the Blazers' zone created the chaos. Fergerson lost his glove in the scramble and complained that Glass knocked it off, but the goal counted.
The Winterhawks' busy week continues with a Friday game at Everett. They return home Saturday to host Seattle at Moda Center. Less than 1,000 tickets remained on Wednesday for the Saturday game that features the annual Mascot Night promotion.