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  • 26 Aug 2014

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Winterhawks toss Seattle aside 5-3

Bittner hat trick propels Portland; Texeira nets Teddy Bear goal to ignite comeback


PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS 5, Seattle Thunderbirds 3

Saturday night, Memorial Coliseum, 10,108 announced attendance (sellout)

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Winterhawks, despite having a handful of players away for world junior hockey activities, scissored Seattle's eight-game win streak and avenged a 3-2 Friday road loss with the two-goal victory on Teddy Bear Toss night.

Portland played for the second time without forwards Nic Petan, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Taylor Leier and defensemen Derrick Pouliot and Layne Viveiros, all on extended international junior hockey duties.

WHAT IT MEANS

• Portland gained some ground on Seattle and Everett in the Western Hockey League U.S. Division and kept pace with Kelowna, which has the best record in the Western Conference and scored an overtime victory for the second night in a row, winning 5-4 at Regina.

• The Winterhawks improved to 4-3 against Seattle this season.

TOP PERFORMERS

• The Winterhawks found players to step up in the absence of several stars.

Paul Bittner got a hat trick, giving him nine goals this season. His first two goals came on power plays, the first 14 seconds into the third period tying the score at 2-2 and the second giving Portland its first lead, 3-2, at 10:30.

• Garrett Haar and Chase De Leo each had three assists.

NOTES

• Fans threw 11,862 onto the ice after Portland's first goal, which came from Keoni Texeira 4:43 into the second period and cut Seattle's lead to 2-1. The bears will be distributed to underprivileged children via local charities.

• Keegan Iverson's score, his ninth of the season, gave Portland a 4-2 lead at 14:10 of the third period.

After a Seattle goal 51 seconds later, Bittner hit an empty net with 1:03 remaining to all but clinch the victory.

KEY STATS

• The Hawks outshot the T-Birds 39-26.

• Of 29 penalties, 16 came in the third period.

• Portland killed eight of nine penalties.

WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE

STANDINGS

Kelowna 26-3-0-2 (54) (B.C. Division leader)

Portland 23-7-2-2 (50) (U.S. Division leader)

Everett 21-9-4-0 (46)

Seattle 20-10-1-3 (44)

Victoria 21-13-0-2 (44)

Spokane 20-12-0-2 (42)

Vancouver 17-12-5-2 (41)

Tri-City 17-15-1-2 (37)

Prince George 13-18-2-3 (31)

Kamloops 9-21-2-2 (22)

NEXT

The Winterhawks will take on chief U.S. Division challenger Everett at Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. Tuesday (KPAM 860 AM). The Silvertips lost 6-3 at home Saturday to Vancouver.