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Staff report: Portland's home victory reclaims first place in WHL U.S. Division

The Portland Winterhawks went into overtime Saturday night — but not much of it.

Cross Hanas scored 18 seconds into the OT to lift the Hawks past the Victoria Royals 5-4 and back into first place in the Western Hockey League U.S. Division.

Portland never led until the extra session.

The Winterhawks improved to 44-11-3-4 (95 points) and leap-frogged the Everett Silvertips (45-13-3-1, 94), who lost 5-2 at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Portland and Victoria will meet again at 5 p.m. Sunday at the coliseum.

The Royals led Saturday's game 2-0 after the first period. The teams were tied 3-3 after two periods.

Tarun Fizer of Victoria scored at 16:47 of the third period, but a goal by Jake Gricius with goalie Joel Hofer out of the net and with 22 seconds left in regulation gave the Hawks their overtime shot.

Hanas' winner came on a breakaway feed cross ice from Gricius.

Seth Jarvis of Portland had a goal and two assists. Johnny Ludvig had two assists, one on the game-winner.

Hofer stopped 18 shots, while Victoria's Adam Evanoff made 38 saves.

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