Thunderbirds kill penalties, score late for 6-3 victory at Portland

COURTESY: DAYNA FJORD/PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS - Portland Winterhawks defenseman Henri Jokiharju rushes up the ice with teammate Keegan Iverson iagainst the Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday at  Memorial Coliseum.The Portland Winterhawks' five-game win streak ended Saturday night.

The Hawks never led in a 6-3 loss to Seattle at Memorial Coliseum.

The Hawks 37-27-1-3 (78 points) with four games left in the regular season.

Seattle is 44-19-4-2 (94 points) and atop the Western Hockey League Western Conference with three games remaining.

The Thunderbirds were trying to maintain lead; they came into the night one point up on Everett, which had two games in hand and beat Tri-City 5-1.

Portland has been trying to catch Victoria and/or Tri-City in the West.

Victoria has the top wild-card playoff spot and is at 80 points after its overtime loss at Kelowna on Friday; the Royals have two games to go before the postseason.

Tri-City is third in the U.S. Division, one spot ahead of the Winterhawks; the Americans' loss Friday left them with 79 points after 80 of 82 scheduled regular-season games.

The Hawks and Thunderbirds were scoreless until Matthew Wedman's goal for Seattle at 2:38 of the second period.

Skyler McKenzie of Portland scored 37 seconds later, assisted by Caleb Jones.

The Thunderbirds took a 3-1 lead later in the period on goals while shorthanded and with the man advantage.

The Hawks got one back on Shaun Dosanjh's second goal of the season at 18:01, off a feed from Jake Gricius.

Period three began with some sloppy power-play play by Portland, and Seattle took advantage with a shorthanded score after 48 seconds.

The Hawks got another power play and capitalized in five seconds on Keegan Iverson's poke goal from Jones, slicing the T-Birds' lead to 4-3 at 3:01.

Almost immediately, Portland got another power-play opportunity, but was not able to knot the score.

Seconds later, the Winterhawks got their sixth power-play chance. Seattle again held on.

The Thunderbirds scored on a penalty shot at 14:48 for a 5-3 edge. They added a power-play tally with 1:01 left.

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