Seattle surges past Winterhawks
Ethan Bear had a hat trick, and the Seattle Thunderbirds scored three goals in a five-minute span of the third period to surge past the Portland Winterhawks 5-3 on Saturday in Western Hockey League action at Kent, Washington.
Winterhawks captain Keegan Iverson had a goal and two assists, scoring for the third time in as many games since missing a month with injury.
The Winterhawks scored twice in four-on-four situations and were 1 for 3 on the power play.
Portland is 32-24-1-2 for 67 points from 59 games. The Hawks hold the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs. Seattle is 37-17-3-2, third in the conference and second in the U.S. Division.
Iverson's goal 3:30 into the third period gave Portland a 3-2 lead.
But the rest of the night belonged to Seattle.
Bear, a defenseman, tied the score with his third goal of the night with 10:10 left in the game. It came on a shot through traffic with Seattle on a power play.
A pair of stretch passes from Bear then set up the last two Seattle goals.
With 6:47 left, Tyler Adams scored from in front after Sami Moilanen skated behind the net off the rush and sent a backhand pass across the crease. Portland goalie Shane Farkas got a piece of a Donovan Neuls shot, but Adams had an open net to put home the rebound.
Ryan Gropp then scored at the end of a two-on-one rush to give Seattle a two-goal cushion with 5:18 remaining. A Bear pass sprung Gropp and Keegan Kolesar for the odd-man rush.
Bear scored the first two goals for Seattle. He scored with a snap shot in the closing seconds of the first period, then converted into an open net seconds after a power play expired in the second period to put Seattle in front 2-1.
Portland scored twice in the second period, with Henri Jokiharju converting on the power play and Caleb Jones scoring during a four-on-four. Both goals were blasts from the high slot.
Iverson put the Winterhawks up 3-2 by scoring on the rush from the left circle with the teams skating four on four.
Seattle finished 1 for 6 on the power play, though Bear's second goal came seconds after a power play expired.
Farkas finished with 27 saves. Seattle goalie Rylan Toth stopped 25 of 28 Portland shots.
The rivals get together again on Sunday for a 5 p.m. game at Memorial Coliseum.