Winterhawks drop shootout
A late goal got the Portland Winterhawks to overtime for the third night in a row on Sunday, but the Seattle Thunderbirds prevailed in a shootout in front of 10,568 fans at Moda Center.
Seattle's Noah Philp scored the only goal in the shootout to lift the Thunderbirds to a 4-3 Western Hockey League win, their third in as many nights.
Ryan Hughes scored with 58 seconds left in the third period to tie the game at 3-3, the second time in three nights that the Winterhawks scored with an extra attacker on the ice to force overtime.
Skyler McKenzie and rookie Reece Newkirk also scored goals for Portland.
Reece Harsch, Nikita Malukhin and Matthew Wedman scored for Seattle.
The Winterhawks (22-12-1-2, 47 points) are one point behind U.S. Division leader Everett.
The Thunderbirds (18-14-4-1, 41 points) remain last in the five-team division but have tightened the division race with their three consecutive wins.
Cody Glass returned to the Portland lineup and had two assists including the primary assist on the opening goal, scored by McKenzie from the right-wing circle with Portland on the power play 2:22 into the second period.
Seattle responded with a power-play goal from Harsch at 7:31 of the second peirod and a rebound goal from Maulkhin at 8:08 to lead 2-1.
Newkirk scored his second career goal to tie it at 14:05 of the second period, sprung on a breakaway by an up-ice pass from John Ludvig.
Seattle took advantage of a fortunate bounce to go up 3-2 with only 3:03 left in the third period. A shot from near the blue line by Turner Ottenbreit hit the end boards and bounced back for Wedman to stuff inside the post behind Cole Kehler.
Ryan Hughes then earned the Hawks a point in the standings when he collected a loose puck in the slot and put it past Seattle goalie Liam Hughes with 58 seconds left. Ryan Hughes found the puck after a Glass shot was blocked and Alex Overhardt poked the puck free for Hughes to find and fire home through traffic.
Portland outshot Seattle 36-30 thanks to a 13-5 edge in the third period and a 4-3 edge during the five minutes of three-on-three overtime, when both goalies were forced to make difficult stops.
In the shootout, Seattle's Liam Hughes stopped Glass, McKenzie and Hughes to earn his second win in goal in as many nights after being sidelined for 14 games with an injury.
After playing four games in five nights, the Winterhawks are idle until a game on Friday at Spokane starts a string of road games at each of their U.S. Division rivals over an eight-day stretch.
Portland defenseman and team captian Keoni Texeira missed his third consecutive game with a lower body injury.
The Winterhawks continue to be without forwards Kieffer Bellows (United States and Joachim Blichfeld (Denmark) and defenseman Henri Jokiharju. The trio is at the World Juniors Championship tournament at Buffalo, New York.
On Sunday, Blichfeld had an early power-play goal for Denmark in a 5-1 loss to Slovakia.
Also Sunday, Team USA beat Finland 5-4 in the final game of group play for both teams. Bellows took five shots on goal but did not figure in the USA goals. Jokiharju had one assist and two shots on goal in more than 19 minutes of ice time for Finland.
The United States will face Russia in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Finland faces the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. The semifinals will be played on Thursday and the medal games on Friday.
Denmark and Belarus play a best-of-3 series this week to determine which team is relegated out of the 2019 edition of the World Juniors Championships.