Hawks win eighth straight and take over first

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October 26, 2013, Spokane (ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks (11-3-0-1) wrapped up their five-game road trip with a 4-3 win in Spokane Saturday against the Chiefs (11-4-0-0).

It capped a perfect 5-0 road trip for the Hawks, and was also their eighth straight win, moving them into first place in the Western Conference.

It took just 51 seconds for the Hawks to open the scoring as Brendan Leipsic registered the 100th goal of his career early on to give Portland a 1-0 lead. The Chiefs’ Liam Stewart then scored at the 5:04 mark to tie it at 1-1, but late in the frame Taylor Leier beat Spokane netminder Eric Williams to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead going into the second.

The second period then became a battle of special teams, as the Hawks and Chiefs put up four combined goals, all on the power play. First it was Oliver Bjorkstrand 2:15 into the frame to give Portland a 3-1 lead. The Chiefs responded later in the frame with power play goals from Mike Aviani at the 6:39 mark and Jason Fram at the 11:59 mark to tie the game at 3-3. Taylor Leier later regained a lead for Portland as his goal on a man advantage at the 16:11 mark gave the Hawks a 4-3 advantage going into the third.

In the third, Brendan Burke was tremendous in net for Portland, stopping all 15 shots he faced in the period to seal the 4-3 win. Burke stopped 33 of 36 shots overall, while Spokane’s Williams allowed four goals on 27 shots.

Leipsic finished with three points in the win, while Nic Petan, Leier and Bjorkstrand all had two.

Portland was 2-4 on the power play and 5-7 on the penalty kill.

The Hawks will be back on the ice Wednesday against the Brandon Wheat Kings at the Moda Center at 7 p.m.