Winterhawks top Thunderbirds
The Portland Winterhawks won their fourth game in a row on Saturday, ending a six-game home losing streak by outscoring the Seattle Thunderbirds 5-4 in Western Hockey League action at Memorial Coliseum.
Skyler McKenzie scored two goals, and Cody Glass, Joachim Blichfeld and Ryan Hughes also scored for the Winterhawks in front of 8,622 fans.
It was Portland's first home win since Nov. 18, and opens a string of four home games in seven days.
Shane Farkas earned the win in goal, making a series of timely stops in the third period as Seattle tried to rally from three goals down.
The Winterhawks improved to 26-13-1-2 for 55 points to stay ahead of Everett atop the U.S. Division. The Silvertips visit Memorial Coliseum at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Seattle is 20-16-4-2 for 46 points, fourth in the division. Dillon Hamaliuk scored twice for the Thunderbirds.
Portland built a 3-0 lead, then responded when Seattle cut it to 3-2 to quickly rebuild a three-goal lead on goals from Blichfeld and Ryan Hughes.
Seattle starting goalie Liam Hughes was knocked out of the game with an injury after a collision with McKenzie on Portland's third goal. McKenzie scored his second of the night on an odd-man rush.
After McKenzie's shot, he was tripped up by a sliding defenseman and tumbled into the Seattle goalie who was knocked backward into the goal.
Seattle responded to losing its goalie. Hamaliuk scored his first of the night, quickly followed by a Donovan Neuls goal to cup Portland's lead to 3-1 midway through the second period.
But Blichfeld scored his 14th of the season on a power play 13:46 into the second and Ryan Hughes beat backup Seattle goalie Dorrin Luding from a sharp angle at 17:51 of the second.
Hamaliuk's second of the night pulled Seattle back within two 2:25 into the third period.
Farkas then kept the Thunderbirds from cashing in again. In a sequence with about 15 minutes remaining, Farkas made four saves in quick succession on close-range shots.
Nolan Volcan put home a rebound to make it 5-4 with 1:41 left in the game and an extra attacker on the ice for the Thunderbirds. But Portland withstood Seattle's late push despite failing to hit the empty net on a couple of opportunities.
Glass opened the scoring on an early power play, stick handling around a Thunderbird and ripping a shot past Liam Hughes from the right-wing circle 58 seconds into the game for his 24th goal of the season.
McKenzie made it 2-0 by converting a penalty shot 6:12 into the game. He was hooked as he broke in on a short-handed opportunity, and scored with a back-hand effort on the penalty shot.
McKenzie has a team-leading 31 goals for Portland. Glass is up to a team-best 61 points. Kieffer Bellows had two assists to raise his points total to 44 in 33 games.