The Portland Winterhawks (29-5-1-0) played their last game before the holiday break Tuesday in Spokane, winning their sixth straight game with a 4-3 victory over the Chiefs (23-10-1-0).
The win gives the Hawks a team-record 59 points going into the holiday break, and puts them five points ahead of the Kamloops Blazers for top spot overall in the league, and expands their lead in the U.S. Division to 12 points ahead of the second place Chiefs.
The Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through the first period on goals by Taylor Peters and Nic Petan. Spokane responded with goals from Todd Fiddler and Mitch Holmberg to tie the game at 2-2 going into the second period.
Petan notched his second of the game, and 24th of the season, at the 11:50 mark of the second to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead. But Spokane again evened the game when Blake Gal scored at the 16:35 mark to make it 3-3 after 40 minutes.
Adam de Champlain staked the Hawks to a 4-3 lead when he beat Spokane netminder Eric Williams 10:40 into the third. From there Portland withstood a late rally by the Chiefs to finish with the win.
Mac Carruth was terrific in net for Portland, stopping 37 of 40 shots for the win. Spokane’s Williams finished with four goals allowed on 26 shots.
The Hawks are now off until Friday, December 28, when they travel to Kennewick, WA to take on the Tri-City Americans at 7 p.m. The next home game is the following day when the Americans come to Veterans Memorial Coliseum for a 3 p.m. matinee with the curtains open.