The Portland Winterhawks (33-14-2-1) scored four first period goals en route to an 8-3 win in Seattle Saturday over the Thunderbirds (18-27-1-1).
Portland used a balanced attack in the victory, with six different players accounting for the eight goals. Sven Bartschi, Brendan Leipsic and Marcel Noebels all finished with three points apiece for the Hawks, and 12 players registered at least a point.
The scoring got started 4:07 into the game when Cam Reid scored for the second straight night to stake Portland to a 1-0 lead. Brendan Leipsic gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead with a power play goal at the 8:07 mark, then the team went up 3-0 on a goal by Chase De Leo at 13:05.
Seattle got on the board on a goal by Connor Honey 35 seconds after De Leo’s goal, but the Hawks got that one back when Oliver Gabriel scored at the 16:28 mark to put Portland up 4-1. The Thunderbirds got a late goal from Branden Troock as the Hawks went into the second period with a 4-2 lead.
The Hawks quickly regained momentum in the second period when they got two goals just 24 seconds apart from Sven Bartschi and Taylor Leier to take a 6-2 lead. After the sixth goal, Seattle replaced starting netminder Calvin Pickard with Daniel Cotton, and Portland took the 6-2 lead into the third.
Seattle’s Chance Lund brought Seattle within three with a goal 1:06 into the third to make it 6-3, but the Hawks got that one back at the 7:01 mark when Bartschi scored his second of the game off a great pass from former Thunderbird Noebels to take a 7-3 lead. They extended the advantage to 8-3 at the 16:06 mark when Leipsic scored his second power play goal of the night, and it would stand as the final.
Mac Carruth picked up his 30th win of the season in net with 51 saves on 54 Seattle shots. Pickard allowed six goals on 25 shots before being replaced, with Cotton making 20 saves on 22 shots in relief.
Portland was outstanding on special teams, going 2-3 with the man advantage and a perfect 2-2 on the penalty kill.
The Hawks are now off until Friday, when they host the Everett Silvertips at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Prior to the game the team will induct former player and coach Brent Peterson into the franchise’s hall of fame.