by Graham Kendrick
March 14, 2014, Seattle (ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks (52-13-2-3) earned a 5-2 road win in Seattle Friday over the Thunderbirds (40-24-2-4).
The Hawks scored the lone goal of the first when defenseman Matt Dumba hammered a shot past Seattle netminder Taran Kozun at the 12:56 mark for a 1-0 Hawks lead.
Portland made it a two-goal lead when Brendan Leipsic scored a power play goal 3:41 into the second for a 2-0 lead. They extended it less than two minutes later when Oliver Bjorkstrand notched his 46th of the season for a 3-0 advantage.
Seattle got on the board 16:27 into the second when Ryan Gropp scored to cut Portland’s lead to 3-1, which remained the score going into the third.
The Thunderbirds got within one when Roberts Lipsbergs scored 1:11 into the third to make it 3-2, but Bjorkstrand answered back with his second of the game 1:36 later for a 4-2 advantage. Taylor Leier then made it 5-2 at the 9:54 mark with his 34th of the season, which rounded out the scoring.
Bjorkstrand had four points in the win with two goals and two assists.
Brendan Burke earned the win in net with 28 saves on 30 shots. Kozun gave up five goals on 51 shots for Seattle.
Portland was 1-5 on the power play and a perfect 5-5 on the penalty kill.
The two teams meet again tomorrow night at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and then Portland ends the regular season Sunday at 5 p.m. against Everett. The Hawks will take on the Vancouver Giants in the first round of the playoffs, beginning next Friday at the Moda Center at 7 p.m.