Prince Albert edges Winterhawks
A Brett Leason goal midway through the third period proved to be the difference on Friday as the Prince Albert Raiders beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks 4-2 in Western Hockey League action at Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert, Saskachewan.
Seth Jarvis and Jake Gricius had goals for Portland, which had a six-game winning streak and 10-game points streak end with the loss to the top-ranked team in Canadian major junior hockey.
Portland is 25-12-3-2 (55 points), second in the U.S. Division. Prince Albert improved to 36-5-0-1 (73), best in the WHL.
Leason broke a 2-2 tie 8:52 into the third period with his 29th goal of the season. He took a stretch pass, entered the Portland zone with speed and scored between the pads of new Winterhawks goalie Joel Hofer with a shot from the right-wing face-off dot.
An empty-net goal by Sean Montgomery sealed the win for Prince Albert with 1:22 remaining. A clearing play by Montgomery from behind his own goal line bounced off the boards and all the way down to the empty goal.
Seth Jarvis opened the scoring for Portland with a shot from the high slot 6:57 into the first period.
The Raiders took a 2-1 lead on goals by Cole Fonstad at 11:58 of the first period and defenseman Zack Hayes at 15:40.
Gricius tapped home a Cody Glass pass at 17:06 of the first period to tie the game at 2-2. The goal came 20 seconds into a five-on-three power play.
Hofer was solid in his first game with the Hawks. The 18-year-old St. Louis Blues prospect stopped 23 of 26 shots, including a series of in-tight opportunities for the Raiders.
Prince Albert goalie Ian Scott, a 19-year-old Toronto Maple leafs prospect, also played a strong game and finished with 27 saves on Portland's 29 shots. A strong glove save on a chance for Jarvis with nine minutes left was one of Scott's quality saves.
Portland was 1 for 6 on the power play, and Prince Albert was 0 for 3.
Center Josh Paterson, acquired in a Thursday trade that sent Ryan Hughes to Saskatoon, made his Winterhawks debut as well, centering a line with Mason Mannek and Clay Hanas and seeing time on the power play and penalty kill.
Paterson will return to his home of 3 1/2 seasons on Saturday when the Winterhawks finPT ish their road trip with a 5 p.m. game at Saskatoon against the East Division's second-place team.
Hughes had a goal, his 18th of the season, and one assist in his debut with the Blades on Friday, a 4-3 loss in overtime to Calgary. He was called for a tripping penalty in overtime that the Hitmen converted for the winning goal.
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