The Portland Winterhawks (30-12-2-1) established a new franchise record with their 17th straight home win in a 5-1 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans (33-10-0-0) Monday afternoon at the Rose Garden in front of 5,470 fans.
The team topped a record that was originally set during the 1993-94 season, and haven’t lost at home since Oct. 14. Oliver Gabriel recorded a hat trick in the win, the first of his career, and Ty Rattie hit the 40-goal plateau for the season, the first player in the WHL to hit the mark.
Leading 2-1 going into the third, the Hawks sealed the win with a tremendous final 20 minutes when they scored three goals and outshot the Americans 15-5.
The Americans scored the lone goal of the first period when Patrick Holland’s 18th goal of the season put them up 1-0 at the 17:38 mark, but that would be their only goal of the game.
Portland evened the score at the 8:40 mark of the second when Troy Rutkowski’s shot from the right faceoff circle beat Tri-Cities netminder Ty Rimmer to tie the game at 1-1. Then at the 14:20 mark Brendan Leipsic carried the puck behind the Americans’ net and fed Gabriel in the slot, who fired it past Rimmer to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead they took into the third period.
Gabriel struck again at the 9:44 mark of the third on a power play when he banged in a rebound to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead, then wrapped up the hat trick at the 14:32 mark as he gave Portland a 4-1 lead. Ty Rattie then hit the 40-goal plateau at the 17:01 mark to put Portland up 5-1.
Mac Carruth picked up his league-leading 28th win in net for the Hawks, stopping xx of xx Tri-Cities shots.
The Hawks were 1-5 on the power play and a perfect 5-5 on the penalty kill.
The Hawks will be back in action this weekend when they take on the Chiefs in a back-to-back set in Spokane Saturday and Sunday.