A goal with just less than six minutes remaining lifted the Kelowna Rockets to a 4-3 win over the Portland Winterhawks on Sunday in Western Hockey League action.
Fifteen seconds after Portland tied the score, Dallon Wilton scored his fourth goal of the season for Kelowna.
The loss leaves the Winterhawks (38-19-3-2, 82 points) 10 points behind U.S. Division leading Everett with five regular-season games remaining. Portland is five points ahead of third-place Spokane for home-ice advantage in the first playoff round. Spokane has seven games remaining.
Josh Paterson had a goal and assist for Portland. Jake Gricius, on the power play, and Brendan De Jong scored third-period goals to tie the score at 3-3. De Jong's shot from near the blue line was his seventh goal of the season and his first since Jan. 19
But 15 seconds later the Rockets regained the lead, Wilton redirected the puck past Shane Farkas with 5:47 remaining. He scored from the doorstep after Liam Kindree got around De Jong at the blue line and sent the puck across the goal mouth for Wilton to direct home.
Portland outshot Kelowna 30-19 and was 2 for 4 on the power play. The Rockets were 1 for 2 with a man advantage.
The Hawks will remain in Canada prior to playing games on Friday and Saturday at Prince George.
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)