FRIDAY WHL RECAP/Portland begins six-game East Division swing with 5-3 win at Swift Current

Jayden Dureau scored midway through the third period to break a tie and the Portland Winterhawks beat the Swift Current Broncos 5-3 in Western Hockey League action on Friday in Saskatchewan.

Jake Gricius added an empty-net goal in the final minute to secure the win over the team with the worst record in the WHL.

Portland is 22-11-3-2 (49 points), second in the U.S. Division. Swift Current, in a rebuilding year after winning the league championship last season, is 7-28-2-1 (17).

Five Winterhawks scored goals and 12 contributed points in the first game of the six-game East Division swing. Lane Gilliss and Michael Kvasnica each had a goal and assist, and Joachim Blichfeld scored his 35th goal of the season.

Portland outshot Swift Current 48-23, but Broncos goalie Joel Hofer kept his team in it.

Dureau's goal came at the end of a three-on-one rush. Reece Newkirk dropped the puck back to Dureau in the slot, and he ripped a shot over the glove of Hofer.

Swift Current managed only six shots on goal in the third period, and Portland goalie Shane Farkas handled all of them.

The Winterhawks got off to a quick start. Gilliss scored his eighth goal of the season 2:13 into the game.

Goals from Blichfeld at 14:41 and from Kvasnica at 16:54 put Portland in front 3-1.

Swift Current got goals from Matthew Culling late in the first period and Ethan Regnier early in the second to tie the score 3-3.

It stayed that way until Dureau's goal at 7:28 of the third period.

Portland was 0 for 3 on the power play, and Swift Current was 0 for 2.

The next stop for the Winterhawks is Moose Jaw for a 5 p.m. PT Saturday game.

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