by Graham Kendrick
February 23, 2014, Everett (ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks (46-12-2-3) made it an even 20 Sunday, extending their winning streak with a 2-1 road win in a shootout against the Everett Silvertips (30-23-7-2).
It was the 20th consecutive win for the Hawks, extending a franchise record. The team hasn’t lost since a shootout defeat in Victoria on January 10, and haven’t lost in regulation since January 4. With 20 straight wins, the Hawks are closing in on the league record for a single-season winning streak, which was set in the 1967-68 season by the Estevan Bruins with 22.
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the game-winning goal in the shootout, while Portland netminder Corbin Boes turned away all three Everett attempts to seal the win.
After a scoreless first period, neither team could find the back of the net in the second, and it remained 0-0 heading into the third period.
Just seven seconds into the third, Everett’s Ivan Nikolishin broke the deadlock to give the Silvertips a 1-0 lead. But from there Portland carried the play, as they outshot Everett 18-4 in the period. The Hawks broke through at the 7:13 mark when a sublime passing play ended with Bjorkstrand scoring to tie the game at 1-1. Portland kept applying pressure, but the Silvertips hung on to send the game to overtime.
The Hawks controlled play through the extra frame, firing four shots at Silvertips netminder Austin Lotz while not allowing one in their own end, but Lotz kept them at bay to force the shootout.
Bjorkstrand scored in the second round of the shootout, and with Boes turning away each Everett attempt it gave the Hawks the win.
Nic Petan had an assist to extend his team-leading point streak to 16 games, while Bjorkstrand has points in 14 straight.
Boes finished with 23 saves on 24 shots to earn the win, while Lotz turned away 37 of 38 Portland shots.
The Hawks will be back in action Friday night in Spokane when they take on the Chiefs.