Sept 20,2014(ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks fell 6-3 to the Prince George Cougars Saturday at the Moda Center in front of 5,562 fans.
Prince George opened the scoring 3:31 into the game on a goal by Chase Witala as they took a 1-0 lead, then made it 2-0 on a goal by Jansen Harkins at the 9:03 mark.
The Hawks broke through at the 13:23 mark of the second after a long sequence in the Prince George end when Paul Bittner fired a shot past Ty Edmonds to give cut the deficit to 2-1. However, the Cougars went back up by two when Jari Erricson scored shorthanded at 15:05 to make it 3-1, which remained the score going into the third.
Portland opened the third with two great shorthanded scoring chances led by Skyler McKenzie, but Prince George made it 4-1 on a goal by Haydn Hopkins 2:27 into the frame.
The Hawks battled back and made it 4-2 at the 8:21 mark when a point shot by Layne Viveiros got through traffic and banked in off the skate of a Cougar player. Just 1:20 later Portland struck again when Bittner scored his second of the night to bring the Hawks to within one at 4-3.
The Cougars regained a two-goal lead as Chance Braid scored a power play goal at the 13:42 mark to give the visitors a 5-3 advantage, then added a late empty net goal as they finished with the 6-3 win.
McKenzie and Alex Overhardt each picked up their first career WHL points in the loss tonight.
Portland was playing with seven players away at National Hockey League training camps: Oliver Bjorkstrand, Brendan Burke, Anton Cederholm, Chase De Leo, Keegan Iverson, Nic Petan and Dominic Turgeon. Defensemen Josh Hanson and Blake Heinrich were also out due to injury.
The Hawks’ next game will be Friday when they travel to Vancouver to take on the Giants.