Winterhawks clip Victoria
Two second-period goals lifted the Portland Winterhawks to a 2-1 win over the Victoria Royals on Friday in Western Hockey League action.
Alex Overhardt and Kieffer Bellows scored for Portland, and Shane Farkas made 29 saves to backstop the win for the Winterhawks in front of 5,527 fans at Victoria's Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena.
Portland survived a late push from Victoria, including a Noah Gregor power-play goal with 1:50 remaining.
Portland improved to 36-20-1-3 for 76 points, remaining second in the U.S. Division. Victoria is 35-22-3-2 for 75 points and second in the B.C. Division.
Overhardt broke the ice 13:43 into the second period with a rebound shot after Ryan Hughes threw the puck at the net from his knees near the goal line. Victoria goalie Griffen Outhouse got a pad on the puck, but the rebound popped out to Overhardt in the slot and he put home his 14th goal of the season.
That goal came after Farkas came up big on a couple of scramble opportunities in front of the Portland goal.
Bellows made it 2-0 for Portland with 1:16 left in the second, taking a pass from Cody Glass and whistling a wrister just inside the left post from the inside of the left-wing circle. It was the 30th goal of the season for Bellows, who caught iron with a similar shot early in the second period.
Portland also had a goal disallowed earlier in the period. A shot by rookie Clay Hanus from the point beat Outhouse, but the officials ruled that Conor MacEachern inadvertently impeded the Victoria goalkeeper on the play with the Victoria goaltender — denying Hanus his first career WHL goal.
Farkas continued his strong play during the second half of the season. The Hawks played solid defense in front of their goalie, but Farkas came up big a coupple of times including a denial of Victoria's Igor Martynov with about five minutes left.
Portland outshot Victoria, 37-30. The Hawks were 0 for 4 on the power play, Victoria 1 for 4 with that goal coming on a beautiful one-touch passing sequence with the Royals skating six-on-four with their net empty.
The Winterhawks and Royals play again at 7 p.m. Saturday in Victoria, the second in a stretch where Portland plays seven of eight games on the road.