The Portland Winterhawks (18-9-1-1) extended their home winning streak to eight games with a 5-1 win over the Everett Silvertips (5-18-0-4) Friday night at the Rose Garden in front of 6,780 fans.
The Hawks carried play for much of the first period, outshooting Everett 17-5, and scored the lone goal of the first at the 14:00 mark on a power play goal by Oliver Gabriel, who was playing his first game back with the Hawks.
Gabriel, a 20-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets signee, opened the season with the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons before being returned to the Hawks earlier this week.
Portland extended the lead at the 3:10 mark of the second when Brendan Leipsic slid a backhand past Silvertips netminder Kent Simpson to make it 2-0, with Gabriel registering an assist for his second point of the night. Everett got on the board with just under three minutes remaining in the second when Josh Birkholz scored to cut Portland’s lead to 2-1 heading into the third period.
The Hawks regained the two-goal lead early in the third when Taylor Leier came out from behind the Everett net and put it past Simpson to make it 3-1 at the 2:39 mark. Portland then made it 4-1 at the 12:24 mark when Sven Bartschi scored on a power play, his 12th of the season, and wrapped up the 5-1 victory on a goal by Chase De Leo with 46.7 seconds remaining.
The Winterhawks held a significant edge in shots on goal throughout the game, finishing with a 43-23 advantage. Mac Carruth stopped 22 of the Everett shots he faced, while his counterpart Simpson made 38 saves for the Silvertips.
Portland was outstanding on special teams, going 2-4 on the power play and a perfect 5-5 on the penalty kill.
The Hawks return to the ice tomorrow at 7 p.m. against the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Rose Garden. That game is the annual Teddy Bear Toss, and is already sold out.