The Portland Winterhawks (26-12-2-1) dropped an 8-4 decision in Vancouver Saturday against the Giants (25-14-1-1).
Vancouver opened the game with two goals in the first period, first from Nathan Burns at the 4:13 mark and then from Brendan Gallagher at the 6:36 mark on a power play to take a 2-0 lead. But the Hawks got one back before the end of the period as Brendan Leipsic scored on a power play at the 18:19 mark to cut Vancouver’s lead to 2-1 going into the second period.
In the second, the Giants got goals from Brett Kulak, Gallagher and Wes Vannieuwenhuizen to take a 5-1 lead into the third. After Gallagher’s goal, Brendan Burke entered the game to replace starting netminder Mac Carruth in goal for Portland.
Leipsic scored his second of the game, also on a power play, 3:55 into the third to make it 5-2, but Gallagher scored his third of the game just under two minutes later to put the Giants up 6-2. The Hawks kept pressing, and Portland defenseman Joe Morrow scored his 11th goal of the season at the 9:15 mark to cut the Vancouver lead to 6-3.
But the Giants got goals from Mark Tvrdon and Jordan Martinook to go up 8-3. The Hawks rounded out the scoring on a goal by Tyler Wotherspoon as the Giants finished with an 8-4 win.
With two assists, Ty Rattie remains atop the WHL scoring list with 73 points on the season.
The Hawks are now off until Wednesday, when they host the Kelowna Rockets at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in a rematch of last season’s second round playoff series.