by Graham Kendrick
December 28, 2013, Portland (ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks (25-8-2-2) knocked off the visiting Tri-City Americans (17-17-2-2) 4-1 Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in front of 8,062 fans.
The Hawks opened the scoring with just 23.6 seconds remaining in the first when Adam de Champlain scored to put Portland ahead 1-0 going into the second.
Portland extended the lead 5:04 into the second with a shorthanded goal when Chase De Leo sped past a Tri-Cities defenseman to set up a 2-on-1, where he fed Oliver Bjorkstrand, who beat Americans netminder Eric Comrie to make it 2-0.
They extended the lead to 3-0 at the 12:20 mark when Tyson Predinchuk, playing his second game with the Hawks, turned and fired a puck past Comrie. Predinchuk joined the Hawks last night in Tri-Cities with the team having Taylor Leier, Nic Petan and Derrick Pouliot at the World Junior Championship, and Brendan Leipsic serving a suspension.
Just 1:35 later Dominic Turgeon scored in a goalmouth scramble to make it a 4-0 advantage, which the Hawks took into the third.
The Americans replaced Comrie in net with Evan Sarthou to start the third, and got on the board at the 8:05 mark with a power play goal from Brian Williams to cut Portland’s lead to 4-1, but the Hawks closed the door from there to finish with the victory.
Brendan Burke earned the win in net with 30 saves on 31 shots. Comrie allowed four goals on 26 shots through two periods, while Sarthou stopped all 12 shots he faced in the third period.
The Hawks are back in action Tuesday when they host the Kelowna Rockets on New Year’s Eve in the Moda Center, beginning at 8 p.m.