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WEDNESDAY WHL RECAP/Jake Gricius scores twice, Hofer strong again, as Portland beats Vancouver 3-1

Jake Gricius scored twice for the second game in a row and Kishawn Gervais scored his third goal in four games Wednesday as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Vancouver Giants 3-1 in front of 2,380 fans at Memorial Coliseum.

The Winterhawks improve to 13-5-1-2 (29 points) and finished the season series with three wins in four games against the Giants. Portland is tied on points with Everett atop the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League, though the Silvertips have played two fewer games.

Vancouver is 11-10-1-1 (24 points), third in the B.C. Division.

Gervais and Gricius scored 41 seconds apart early in the first period. Gervais scored 14:31 into the first period with a shot from the high slot after Mason Mannek forced a Vancouver turnover. Gricius made it 2-0 with a slam-dunk finish of a pass in tight from Cross Hanas at 15:12,

Vancouver's Bowen Byram made it 2-1 with the only goal of the second period.

Gricius sealed the victory for Portland with a power-play goal off a feed from Jaydon Dureau with 21 seconds left in the game. Gricius has nine goals.

Goalie Joel Hofer again starred for the Hawks, making 27 saves as the Giants outshot Portland 28-21. A number of his stops denied Vancouver close-range opportunities.

Portland stayed out of the penalty box all night and the Hawks finished 1 for 3 on the power play.

Next for the Winterhawks is a 6 p'.m. Saturday game against Everett at Memorial Coliseum.

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