Portland Winterhawks rally past Kamloops Blazers
Aidan Litke scored twice as the Portland Winterhawks shrugged off fatigue and a tough start to beat the Kamloops Blazers 5-2 on Sunday, Jan. 16, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The first win in three tries over Kamloops this season is Portland's 12th in its last 15 games. The Winterhawks are 19-11-3-2 (43 points), fourth in the Western Conference of the Western Hockey League. They climbed within two points of the Blazers, who are second in the conference at 22-11-1-0 (45 points).
Kamloops had the upper hand and led 2-0 after one period. Litke's first goal of the game, at 7:47 of the second period, started the comeback when he tipped home a feed from Dawson Pasternak.
Luca Cagnoni's second goal of the weekend, off a beautiful back-door feed from Jaydon Dureau, tied it 2-2 at 13:29 of the second. Sixty-two seconds later, Cagnoni assisted on defenseman Clay Hanus' go-ahead goal. The tying and go-ahead goals came with the teams skating four-on-four.
Litke scored his second of the night and 10th of the season at the end of an odd-man rush with 7:04 left in the game. An empty-net goal from James Stefan, from inside the Portland blueline, iced the victory.
Taylor Gauthier stopped 25 of 27 shots for his third win since joining the Winterhawks.
Portland outshot Kamloops 34-27, including 25-14 over the last two periods.
The Winterhawks are scheduled to play another three-in-three next weekend, beginning on Friday at Tri-City followed with home games Saturday against Seattle and Sunday against Spokane.
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