by Graham Kendrick
February 12, 2014, Prince George (ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks (40-12-2-3) clinched a playoff spot with their 14th straight win Wednesday when they earned a 6-4 road victory over the Prince George Cougars (24-28-2-5).
The 14 straight wins are one shy of the franchise record of 15, set in both the 1979-80 and 1997-98 seasons. The playoff spot marks the team’s fifth straight trip to the postseason.
The Hawks struck early with a power play goal from Oliver Bjorkstrand 2:05 into the game, but later in the period Prince George got goals 39 seconds apart from Brad Morrison and Marc McNulty to take a 2-1 lead into the second.
Portland tied it at 2-2 just 33 seconds into the second on a shorthanded goal from Nic Petan. Two minutes later Garrett Haar scored to put the Hawks ahead 3-2, followed midway through the period by a goal from Keegan Iverson to make it 4-2. Prince George’s Troy Bourke scored a late goal for the Cougars to cut Portland’s lead to 4-3 going into the third.
Iverson scored his second of the game 6:23 into the third for a 5-3 advantage, but Prince George again got within on Bourke’s second of the contest 1:40 later to cut the Hawks’ lead to 5-4. Taylor Leier re-established Portland’s two-goal lead when he scored at the 12:01 mark for a 6-4 advantage which stood as the final.
Petan finished with three points, while Iverson, Bjorkstrand, Chase De Leo and Derrick Pouliot all had two points apiece.
Corbin Boes earned the win in net for Portland with 20 saves on 24 shots.
Portland was 1-3 on the power play and 5-5 on the penalty kill with a shorthanded goal.
The Hawks are back in action Friday when they’re in Kamloops to take on the Blazers.