by Graham Kendrick
January 17, 2014, Portland (ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks (29-12-2-3) jumped on the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors (13-26-3-3) early Friday en route to an 8-2 win at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in front of 7,301 fans.
With Matt Dumba making his debut and the Hawks playing their first home game with their full roster in over a month, they burst out of the gate with four first period goals. Portland opened the scoring 3:36 into the game on a power play when a gorgeous passing play ended with Keegan Iverson banging the puck in on the doorstep for a 1-0 lead.
Portland made it 2-0 at the 12:21 mark when Paul Bittner fired a shot past Moose Jaw netminder Zach Sawchenko, then just over two minutes later it became a 3-0 lead when Oliver Bjorkstrand cut across the middle and beat Sawchenko for his 29th goal of the season. With 30 seconds to go in the period Bittner fed Brendan Leipsic, who one-timed the puck into the net for a 4-0 lead going into the second.
It remained a four-goal advantage until just 3.1 seconds remained in the second, when Taylor Leier bounced a puck in off the skate of a Warriors player for a 5-0 lead heading into the third.
Moose Jaw got on the board 1:43 into the third on a power play goal from Sam Fioretti to make it 5-1. Later in the period the Warriors took two straight penalties to give the Hawks an extended 5-on-3, and they took full advantage. Dumba registered his first assist as a Hawk when he set up Derrick Pouliot for a blast from the point for a goal with a two-man advantage for a 6-1 lead. Moments later with the Hawks still on a power play, Dumba picked up another assist on a goal from Dominic Turgeon as Portland went up 7-1.
The Warriors got one back on a power play goal from Brayden Point midway through the frame to cut it to 7-2, and Leier notched his second of the game late in the period to make it 8-2, which stood as the final.
Chase De Leo had four assists in the win, while Nic Petan and Pouliot each had three points.
The Hawks return to action Sunday when they host the Spokane Chiefs at 3:30 in the Coliseum, with the arena’s curtains open to allow daylight into the bowl.