Winterhawks make it six in a row
Goals from five players sent the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-2 win over the Regina Pats on Wednesday in Western Hockey League play at the Brandt Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Portland won its sixth game in a row, improving to 25-11-3-2 (55 points).
Regina is 12-28-1-1.
Jake Gricius had a three-point night for the Winterhawks, and defenseman Clay Hanus had a goal and assist. Joachim Blichfeld scored his league-leading 38th goal, and Jared Freadrich and Jaydon Dureau also scored.
Gricius and Hanus each had a goal and assist in the first period to help Portland to a 2-0 lead.
Gricius opened the scoring at 8:15 with his 18th goal of the season. Coming off the bench with Portland in control in the Regina zone, Gricius scored from in close off a feed from behind the net by Robbie Fromm-Delorme.
In the final seconds of the first period, Hanus scored his fifth goal of the season on a shot from the left point. He had time to line up the shot after Gricius dropped a pass to him.
Blichfeld made the score 3-0 56 seconds into the second period. After Pats goalie Dean McNabb made a couple tough stops, Cody Glass won a puck battle behind the net and Ryan Hughes was able to push a loose puck to Blichfeld in front.
A rebound goal for Austin Pratt put the Pats on the board with 1:18 left in the second period.
Freadrich, who started his WHL career with Regina in 2015-16, made the score 4-1 at 2:51 of the third period. The defenseman skated into the slot and finished a pass delivered by Mason Mannek from behind the net for his sixth goal of the season.
A one-timer from the left point by Regina defenseman Liam Schioler at 8:15 of the third period got the Pats within two goals.
Dureau, a native of nearby White City, Saskatchewan, iced the win with his 10th goal of the season. It was an empty-net goal with 2:16 remaining after the Pats had some good offensive zone possession with their net empty and an extra attacker on the ice.
Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play.
Portland outshot Regina 35-26. Winterhawks goalie Shane Farkas made 28 saves for his 24th win of the season.
McNabb had a strong game for Regina, keeping the game close with several difficult saves among his 30 stops.
Next on the Winterhawks' swing through the East Division is a 5 p.m. PT Friday visit to Prince Albert. The Raiders (35-5-0-1) have the best record in the league and are the top-rated team in Canadian junior hockey, though they lost at home Wednesday to Seattle.
The WHL trade deadline is 1 p.m. PT Thursday.
Goalie Joel Hofer, the St. Louis Blues prospect acquired by the Hawks in a Wednesday trade that sent six bantam draft picks to Swift Current, is expected to join Portland before the game at Prince Albert.