Winterhawks snap losing streak
The Portland Winterhawks dominated the shooting Wednesday night and took out some frustrations on the Vancouver Giants.
The Hawks, who had lost four games in a row, out-shot the team in last place in the Western Hockey League Western Conference, 56-18, and won 5-1 at Langley (British Columbia) Events Centre.
Keegan Iverson and Jake Gricius each had two goals, Caleb Jones hit the 50-point mark for the season with two assists, and new arrival Matt Revel tallied a goal for the first time with his new team as the Hawks pulled away with two scores in the closing 1:50.
Portland led wire to wire, connecting initially at 8:23 of the first period. Iverson, rounding into form since his recent return from injury, got his 19th goal of the WHL season, with assists to Jones and Skyler McKenzie on a power play.
In the second period, Portland boosted its lead to 2-0 when Gricius scored his eighth goal of the season off the feed of Illijah Collins at 5:53.
Then it was Iverson on another power play, putting a shot into the net at 15:51. Assists went to Cody Glass and Jones.
Captain Iverson has nine points in seven games since he came back on Feb. 13.
Vancouver got on the board 2:47 into the third period on a power-play strike by Matt Barberis.
At 18:10, Revel found an empty net. Colton Veloso assisted on the score. It was Revel's eighth goal of the season.
At 19:03, Gricius scored on a power play, with an assist to Brendan De Jong.
Portland dominated the shooting in the first two periods, with 15 shots to four by the Giants in the opening frame and then 21 to their five in period No. 2.
And Portland had 13 of the final 15 shots in the game.
Cole Kehler went the distance in goal for the Winterhawks, who killed three penalties and went 3 for 5 on the power play.
The Giants fell to 19-40-2-3 (43 points, 16 behind the next-to-last West team, Spokane).
Portland improved to 33-26-6-3, and with 70 points is still eighth in the conference and on track for the No. 8 playoff seed. The No. 7 team, Victoria, has 75 points in 63 games, so both teams have nine regular-season games remaining. Spokane, which is ninth in the West, has 61 points after 62 games.
The Hawks' next two games will be against Vancouver, as well, with the Giants heading to Memorial Coliseum for faceoffs at 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday.