With the afternoon sun shining into the arena bowl, the Portland Winterhawks (16-9-1-1) beat the Spokane Chiefs (11-6-1-2) 5-3 Friday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in front of a crowd of 7,065 for the Hawks’ sixth straight home win.
Portland opened the scoring 9:55 into the game when Ty Rattie found Chase De Leo streaking towards the Spokane net, with De Leo taking the pass and beating Chiefs netminder Mac Engel to make it 1-0, which would stand as the lone goal of the period.
Spokane tied the game two minutes into the second when Anthony Bardaro scored on a two-on-one opportunity to make it 1-1, but the Hawks regained the lead at the 5:30 mark when Nic Petan fed Sven Bartschi on the doorstep, who beat Engel to make it 2-1.
The Hawks extended the lead just over a minute later when Brad Ross slid the puck under Engel’s outstretched arm to make it 3-1 in favor of the Hawks. Bardaro cut it to 3-2 when he scored his second of the game with a power play goal at the 8:17 mark, and that would remain the score
through the end of the period.
The Chiefs tied it 1:34 into the third period on a goal by Connor Chartier, but the Hawks quickly regained the lead 58 seconds later on a power play with a Joe Morrow blast from the point to make it 4-3. It remained a one-goal game all the way until just over two minutes remained in the period, when Brendan Leipsic poked the puck over the Spokane goal line to give the Hawks an insurance goal and a 5-3 win.
Mac Carruth was outstanding in net for Portland in the win, stopping 46 of the 49 shots he faced. Engel made 34 saves on 39 shots.
Ross finished with three points for Portland, while De Leo, Rattie and Bartschi each had two.
The Hawks were 1-4 on the power play and 2-3 on the penalty kill.
The arena’s curtains were open as part of the Burgerville Daylight Classic, and the sun shone into the arena bowl for the early part of the game.
The Hawks are back on the ice Sunday at 5 p.m. when they host the Swift Current Broncos at the Coliseum.