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FRIDAY WHL RECAP/Five-point night from Jake Gricius leads Portland to 6-3 win over Chiefs at Spokane

Jake Gricius had a career-best five-point night and Joel Hofer had another solid game in net Friday as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Spokane Chiefs in Western Hockey League action at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

Gricius scored two of Portland's three third-period goals as the Winterhawks turned a one-goal lead into a comfortable margin.

Cross Hanas had two goals and one assist, Seth Jarvis converted a penalty shot and Johnny Ludvig added a power-play goal for the Hawks.

Portland improved to 8-3-0-1 (17 points) with its third consecutive win and its sixth consecutive game with a point. The Hawks remain one point back of U.S. Division-leading Everett.

Spokane is 6-5-1-0 (13 points).

With linemates Gricius and Hanas each scoring twice, Robbie Fromm-Delorme had four assists for Portland.

Hanas opened the scoring 5:04 into the game, lifting a shot on the rush past Arnold after a Fromm-Delorme pass sent Hanas in on goal.

Spokane's Filip Kral tied it 1-1 at 13:28 of the first, skating into the high slot and scoring with a shot through traffic.

Ludvig's seventh goal of the season, a blast from the point on the power play, put Portland ahead 2-1 at the end of one period.

Hanas scored his second of the night and fifth of the season at 12:53 of the second to make it 3-1. Fromm-Delorme forced a giveaway at the Spokane blueline and Gricius found Hanas alone in the slot.

Against the momentum of the second period, Cordel Larson's second goal of the season got Spokane within 3-2. On an odd-man rush, Hofer made an initial save but was not able to cover the rebound before the puck squirted to Larson at the side of the net.

Jarvis scored on a penalty shot 6:13 into the third period after he drew a hooking penalty on a partial breakaway. Jarvis' sixth goal of the season made it 4-2, and the margin grew to three just 1:21 later.

Gricius made it 5-2 into the third after Fromm-Delorme picked up the puck in his defensive zone and carried it all the way into the crease. Gricius was able to put in the rebound for his goal of the season.

Spokane got one back quickly on a delayed Portland penalty as Luke Toporowski was first to a loose puck off the rush, to pull the Chiefs within two with still 11:28 to play.

Hofer made 12 of his 32 saves in the third period to limit any momentum for the Chiefs and Gricius sealed the win by re-directing a blueline shot by Clay Hanus with 4:39 remaining.

The game featured the top two power plays in the WHL. Portland went 1-4 with a man advantage and Spokane was 0 for 3.

The Winterhawks are idle until next Friday, when they play at Everett to begin a three-game weekend that includes home games Nov. 2 against Seattle and Nov. 3 against Kamloops.


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