SATURDAY WHL RECAP/Unlikely goal from Jake Gricius lifts Portland to 4-3 road win over Silvertips, back into U.S. Division lead

Jake Gricius was on his belly, part of a pile of players in the crease. Somehow, the Portland Winterhawks forward found the loose puck, lifted it over Everett goalie Dustin Wolf and lifted Portland to a 4-3 win over the Silvertips.

The improbable goal came with 38.8 seconds left in the third period and earned the Winterhawks a win in a game they led 3-0. Gricius had two goals and an assist in the game, played in front of 7,019 fans in Everett.

The win moved the Winterhawks back into first place in the U.S. Division. Portland is 23-13-1-2 for 49 points. Everett is 23-16-1-1 for 48 points. Portland is two points ahead of third-place Tri-City.

Goals by Gricius and Ryan Hughes 17 seconds apart late in the first period put Portland in front 2-0. Ilijah Collina's third goal of the season 1:39 into the second period made it 3-0 Winterhawks.

But the Everett power play brought back the Silvertips. Wyatte Wylie put the home team on the scoreboard 8:11 into the second period and Matt Fonteyne added power-play goals at 9:49 of the second period and 7:59 into the third period to tie the game.

Everett finished 3 for 5 on the power play. Portland's two successful penalty kills came after the game was tied in the third period. Portland was 1 for 2 on the power play.

Portland goalie Cole Kehler stopped 36 of 39 shots in the win. Wolf stopped 24 of Portland's 38 shots.

The Winterhawks had scored three goals in seven consecutive games, six of them losses. It took an unlikely play to get the fourth goal that gave Portland a memorable win.

The Winterhawks visit Seattle on Tuesday and visit Tri-City on Friday before playing host to Seattle next Saturday.

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