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Staff report: Sunday's 3-2 win is fourth of the week as Portland continues to set the pace in the Western Hockey League

COURTESY PHOTO: PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS/KEITH DWIGGINS - Mason Mannek scored with this shot to put Portland up 2-0 in the first period of Sunday's 3-2 win over Kelowna at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.The undermanned Kelowna Rockets showed life late on Sunday but the Portland Winterhawks completed a weekend sweep with a 3-2 win at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

With its third win in as many nights, Portland improved to 33-6-2-3 (71 points), best in the Western Hockey League. Portland has now gone 19 games without losing in regulation (17-0-1-1).

Kelowna, without eight regular players because of injuries, dropped its sixth in a row and fell to 21-20-1-2 (45 points). The Rockets are third in the B.C. Division.

Reece Newkirk and Mason Mannek scored first-period goals for Portland, which dominated the opening period with a 23-5 advantage in shots on goal.

The fifth goal of the season for defenseman Jonas Brondberg made it 3-0 Portland 1:10 into the third period.

Instead of fading, the Rockets played a strong third period. Kelowna pur 17 shots on goal over the final 20 minutes after managing only 11 through the first 40.

Ethan Ernst scored his second goal of the season 7:13 into the third to give the Rockets some life. Jonas Peterek scored with 18 seconds left and an extra attacker on for Kelowna.

Rockets goalie Cole Schwebius played a tremendous game, facing 52 shots and stopping 49 of them.

Winterhawks goalie Joel Hofer made 25 saves to earn his 23rd win of the season.

Portland was 1 for 3 on the power play, with Newkirk's 21st goal of the season coming midway through the first period to open the scoring.

The Hawks killed off all three Rockets power plays.

In four wins this week, Portland outscored its opponents 24-9.

The Winterhawks are idle until a 7 p.m. Friday game against Tri-City at Moda Center.


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