Winterhawks beat Thunderbirds
The Portland Winterhawks scored four goals in the third period on Friday to earn their 40th win of the Western Hockey League season, a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in front of 5,528 fans at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Reece Newkirk, Mason Mannek and Seth Jarvis scored goals in the first 2:51 of the third period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.
The Winterhawks improved their WHL-best record to 40-8-3-4 (87 points). It was the 22nd consecutive home game that Portland has earned at least one point. The Hawks remain seven points in front of second-place Everett in the U.S. Division.
The Thunderbirds are 22-28-3-3 (50). Seattle leads Prince George by 11 points as the Thunderbirds close in on securing a wild-card playoff spot.
Newkirk tied it 51 seconds into the third period with his 29th goal of the season.
Mannek scored the go-ahead goal 2:42 into the third after Gabe Klassen won a battle to keep the puck in the attacking zone.
Nine seconds later, after Portland drove the net off of the ensuing faceoff, Jarvis put home a rebound for his second goal of the night and 35th of the season.
Jarvis, who assisted on Newkirk's tying goal, also scored the first Portland goal, a shorthanded rebound effort five minutes into the second period that halved a 2-0 Seattle lead.
Cross Hanas scored at 12:02 of the third, his 19th of the season, to make it 5-2 Hawks.
Payton Mount, who had a goal and two assists for Seattle, scored on a five-on-three power play with 2:20 remaining. But Portland killed the remaining penalty time.
Portland outshot Seattle 54-22 and might have taken control early if not for some difficult saves by Thunderbirds goalie Blake Lyda. Lyda finished with 49 saves, 35 of them during the first two periods.
Winterhawks goalie Joel Hofer made 19 saves in his 30th win of the season.
The rivals meet again at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington. On Sunday, second-place Everett visits Portland for a 5 p.m. game at the coliseum.
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