December 13, 2013, Seattle (ISN)- The Portland Winterhawks (22-7-2-2) dropped a narrow 3-2 decision in Seattle Friday against the Thunderbirds (20-9-1-3).
Seattle’s Branden Troock opened the scoring 4:31 into the game, but the Hawks evened it at the 16:15 mark when Chase De Leo scored his 20th goal of the season to make it 1-1, which remained the score going into the second. Rookie Colton Veloso, making his WHL debut, picked up an assist on De Leo’s goal.
De Leo struck again 16:01 into the second with a power play goal for a 2-1 lead the Hawks took into the third period.
Seattle tied the game 4:46 into the third on a goal by Justin Hickman, then took a 3-2 lead three minutes later on Troock’s second of the game. The Hawks pressed throughout the period to get the equalizer, but Seattle held on for the victory.
Brendan Burke made 27 saves on the 30 shots he faced in goal for Portland. Seattle’s Danny Mumaugh stopped 33 of the Hawks’ 35 shots.
Both teams were 1-4 on the power play.
Portland was without Oliver Bjorkstrand, Taylor Leier, Nic Petan, Derrick Pouliot and Layne Viveiros, who are playing in international tournaments. In addition to Veloso, defenseman Justin Greer also made his WHL debut.
The two teams meet again tomorrow night at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the sold out Teddy Bear Toss game.