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TUESDAY WHL RECAP/Medicine Hat hands Portland its third consecutive loss with dominating third period push

The Medicine Hat Tigers dominated the third period and beat the Portland Winterhawks 4-2 on Tuesday in Western Hockey League play at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Isaiah DiLaura played a strong game in goal to keep Portland close, but the Winterhawks struggled to create scoring chances in their third consecutive loss.

Portland is 3-3-0-0 (6 points). Medicine Hat is 5-2-1-0 (11 points).

The Winterhawks took a 2-1 lead into the third period thanks to goals from defensemen Jonas Brondberg and Clay Hanus.

But the Tigers kept the Hawks pinned in for significant stretches of the third period, outshooting Portland 21-6 over the final 20 minutes on their way to a 48-28 shots advantage.

Medicine Hat gained the upper hand on the scoreboard with goals four seconds apart.

Brett Kemp danced around a couple of Portland players on his way to the front of the goal to tie the game with a power-play goal 8:03 into the third period. Off the faceoff, Medicine Hata's Daniel Baker surprised DeLaura with a shot from outside the blueline for the go-ahead goal.

Trevor Longos goal with 5:29 remaining made it 4-2. Portland created a couple of good looks in the final moments with an extra attacker but could not close the gap.

Despite the mistake on the go-ahead goal, DiLaura was sharp in his first appearance for the Hawks, stopping 44 of 48 shots. The 19-year-old netminder came up with a series of athletic saves with his glove, skates and pads.

A Saint Paul, Minnesota native, DeLaura played 36 games over two seasons with Prince George and was acquired Sept. 17 by Portland.

Brondberg, an 18-year-old rookie from Denmark, put the Hawks up 1-0 with his first WHL goal — a wrister from the high slot off a Cross Hanas feed 3:56 into the second period.

James Hamblin tied it for Medicine had 2:13 later. He made a strong move off the right boards and got a fortunate bounce off the skate of Hanus after DiLaura made the initial save.

Hanus put Portland back ahead by scoring his fourth goal of the season from a tight angle at 7:52 of the second period.

But the Tigers took over in the third period and used their one power-play goal on three chances to turn the score around. The Winterhawks did not have a power play in the game.

Portland plays the fourth of its six games at Central Division cities on Wednesday with a visit to Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Games Friday at Red Deer and Sunday at Edmonton will conclude the season's trip into Eastern Conference territory.

The Winterhawks next home game is at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 against Brandon.

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