Winterhawks Fall to Lethbridge in a Shootout Friday Night

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January 19, 2012, Portaland, OR (ISN) – The loss snapped the Hawks’ 14-game winning streak, although Portland did get a point in the standings with the game going to overtime, and remain first overall in the WHL.

The Portland Winterhawks (37-5-1-1) dropped a 5-4 decision in a shootout to the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes (22-20-1-5) Friday at the Rose Garden in front of 9,005 fans.

The Hawks struck early when Brendan Leipsic created a turnover at the Portland blueline, leading to a three-on-one the other way, which was capped off by Leipsic taking a feed from Ty Rattie and beating Hurricanes netminder Ty Rimmer to make it 1-0 at the 4:39 mark of the first.

Later in the period with the Winterhawks on a 5-on-3 power play, defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon fired a blast past Rimmer to make it 2-0 at the 14:43 mark, a lead Portland took into the second period.

The Hawks extended the lead at the 8:15 mark of the second when Oliver Bjorkstrand corralled a rebound in front of the Lethbridge net and scored to make it 3-0. The Hurricanes got on the board at the 10:33 mark on a goal by Reid Duke to cut Portland’s lead to 3-1, then got within one on a goal by Harrison Harper at the 15:55 mark as they made it a 3-2 game going into the third.

Midway through the third the Hurricanes tied the game at 3-3 when Jamal Watson scored at the 10:32 mark. The Hawks regained the lead at the 12:50 mark on a power play when Petan took a cross-ice feed from Leipsic and scored his 30th of the season to give Portland a 4-3 lead. But the Hurricanes again tied it on a power play of their own just over a minute later on a goal by Sam Mckechnie to make it 4-4 and force overtime.

The Hawks controlled play through much of the extra frame, but were unable to net a winner and the game went to a shootout, the first of the season for Portland.

The Hurricanes capitalized on their first two chances in the shootout to come away with the 5-4 win.

All three members of the Hawks’ first line extended point streaks tonight. Leipsic’s goal and assist gave him a 13-game streak, Nic Petan’s goal and two assists extended his streak to eight games, while Rattie’s two assists give him points in all five games since returning from the World Junior Championship. Rutkowski’s assist took his point streak to eight games.

The Hawks are back in action Saturday night at 7 p.m. They host the Spokane Chiefs Monday in a 3 p.m. matinee with the curtains open in Veterans Memorial Coliseum.