Winterhawks beat Thunderbirds in OT
James Stefan's goal six seconds into overtime lifted the Portland Winterhawks to a 4-3 Western Hockey League win over the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday in Kent, Washington.
Stefan and Tyson Kozak each scored twice for Portland and goalie Taylor Gauthier made 47 saves as the Winterhawks won their sixth consecutive game.
Portland is fourth in the WHL's Western Conference at 18-11â€“3-1 (40 points). Seattle is third at 19-9-4-0 (42 points).
Off the overtime faceoff, Stefan carried the puck into the Seattle zone and ripped a shot from the left-wing circle past Thunderbirds goalie Scott Ratzloff.
Portland carried a 3-1 lead into the third period. Seattle scored twice in 20 seconds to tie it five minutes into the third.
Two of Seattle's three goals were on the power play, but the Winterhawks, with Gauthier playing big, killed off a five-minute power play that included two minutes of five-on-three early in the second period.
Stefan opened the scoring just 1:37 into the game. He is up to 17 goals on the season.
Kozak scored to make it 2-1 at 13:24 of the first period and 3-1 at 16:01 of the second, giving him 15 goals on the season. Jaydon Dureau assisted on both Kozak goals.
But Gauthier was the story. In his second game for Portland, the 20-year-old netminder made a series of highlight-worthy saves on a busy night as Seattle built a 50-22 advantage in shots on goal.
Portland played the last two periods without forward Cross Hanas, who was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for a hit that sent Seattle's Jordan Gustafson awkwardly into the boards.
The Winterhawks are home Saturday, Jan. 15, for a 6 p.m. game at Veterans Memorial Coliseum against Tri-City and finish the weekend with a 5 p.m. Sunday home game against Kamloops.
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