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Staff report: Newkirk scores two goals as Portland ups its U.S. Division lead

The Portland Winterhawks overcame an early deficit and withstood a late surge by Spokane to top the Chiefs 6-4 Friday night before 6,680 fans at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Winterhawks improved to 26-6-1-3 (56 points), and have earned at least one point in 20 of their last 21 games.

The Chiefs fell to 20-12-4-1 (45).

Everett lost 4-3 at Prince George, which dropped the Silvertips to 25–9-2-1 (53), second to Portland in the Western Hockey League U.S. Division standings, with Spokane third.

Portland will play host at 6 p.m. Saturday to the Tri-City Americans at Moda Center, then return to action on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. Moda game against Spokane.

Spokane led 1-0 Friday when Cordel Larson scored at 3:32 of the first period.

The Hawks got three goals before the end of the frame, though. First, Lane Gilliss connected on a power play at 6:54. Gabe Klassen found the back of the net at 8:15, and Reece Newkirk scored at 16:28.

Newkirk's unassisted goal at 1:32 of the second period boosted the Hawks' lead to 4-1.

The Chiefs came back, getting third-period markers from Jack Finley (9:43) and Luke Toporowski (12:29).

A Portland goal by Jaydon Dureau at 13:01 made the score 5-3, but Spokane answered at 14:26 on a goal by Adam Beckham.

With 47 seconds left, Cross Hanas found an empty net for the Winterhawks.

Hanas also had an assist on the Hawks' opening goal, and Robbie Fromm-Delorme had assists on two of the three goals in the first period. Gilliss assisted on the empty-netter.

Hawks goalie Isaiah DiLaura made 31 saves to earn the win.

Spokane goalies James Porter Jr. and Mason Beauput combined for 27 stops.

Portland went 1 of 4 on the power play while Spokane was 1 of 1.

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