Winterhawks Set Franchise Record, Win 16th in a Row
The Portland Winterhawks (42-12-2-3) scored five times in the second period to defeat the Vancouver Giants (27-23-7-3) by a 7-4 margin, setting a new franchise record in the process with their 16th consecutive victory.
The previous record was 15 games set in both 1978-79 and 1997-98. The Hawks have not lost since January 10th.
The two teams were scoreless after the first period, with Portland out-shooting the Giants 12-9.
The Winterhawks exploded in the second period scoring four times in a nine minute stretch and adding another late in the period to take a 5-0 lead after two periods. Paul Bittner opened the scoring with his 20th of the season tipping home a centering pass from Nicolas Petan to give the Hawks the lead just over two minutes into the period. Two minutes later, Derrick Pouliot fired a wrist shot home for his 15th goal of the season. The onslaught continued with Brendan Leipsic shooting one off of a Giant defender for his 31st on the power play at 10:41. Exactly one minute later, Keoni Texeira scored his second goal of the season, finishing off a two-on-one to make it 4-0. The final goal of the period was scored by Alex Schoenborn, tipping home a centering feed from Leipsic for his 16th of the season. The Hawks out-shot the Giants 11-8 in the frame.
The Hawks scored twice more in the third period, the first a power play goal by Petan, his 32nd, in the opening minute of the period, set up by Taylor Leier. The goal was the 100th point of the season for Petan, who is leading the WHL scoring race. Dominic Turgeon would finish the scoring for Portland with his 10th of the season, taking a pass from Oliver Bjorkstrand and scoring short-handed for his 10th of the season. The Giants got third period goals from Trent Lofthouse, Ty Ronning and a pair of goals by Tim Traber. Vancouver out-shot Portland 17-9 in the third and 34-29 in the contest.
The Winterhawks went 2 for 5 on the power play while killing 5 of 7 opportunities against.
Corbin Boes picked up his seventh win since joining the Hawks stopping 30 of 34. Payton Lee took the loss for the Giants, stopping 19 of 26 in 46 minutes, he was relieved by Jared Rathjen who stopped all three shots he faced.
Both Schoenborn and Turgeon added two assists while Bjorkstrand finished with three assists in the victory. Petan , Leipsic and Pouliot all finished with two point games. Petan also set a career high by extending his point streak to 12 games.
The Hawks return to action on Tuesday night when they host the Prince George Cougars on Tuesday night at 7:00 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.