Winterhawks blank Everett
Turns out, Kieffer Bellows and Cody Glass really are difference makers.
Two of the Winterhawks top forwards returned from injury on Wednesday and were instrumental in Portland's 3-0 Western Hockey League win over Everett in front of 3,938 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
Bellows scored twice and Glass assisted on all three goals as the Hawks broke through in the final nine minutes. Skyler McKenzie' clinched the win with an empty-netter.
Everett (32-17-1-2, 67 points) remains atop the U.S. Division. Portland (30-17-1-3, 64 points) has played one fewer game.
The first goal came at 11:11 of the third period, with Bellows scoring a power-play goal into an open net at the end of a nifty passing sequence involving Henri Jokiharju and Glass.
Bellows struck again just more than two minutes later, converting off the rush with McKenzie at 13:18. Bellows low shot from the left-wing circle somehow found it's way through Everett goalie Carter Hart, who made 39 saves.
Portland goalie Cole Kehler made 21 saves to earn his third shutout of the season. He stopped Everett's Conor Dewar in alone in the first period.
After being outshot 10-5 in the first period, the Hawks dominated the next two frames with a 37-11 shots advantage to finish with a 42-21 edge.
Portland was 1 for 5 on the power play, Everett was 0 for 5.
The Hawks take on Tri-City on Friday in Kennewick, Washington, then play host to the Americans at 6 p.m. Saturday at Moda Center. Tri-City is third in the U.S. Division, five points back of Portland with two games in hand.