(ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks (28-19-0-3) earned a 7-5 win over the Tri-City Americans (24-23-0-2) Sunday at the Moda Center in front of 8,277 fans.
Oliver Bjorkstrand had a hat trick in the victory, which extended the Hawks’ winning streak to five games.
Portland needed just 42 seconds to open the scoring, as Bjorkstrand made a great feed to spring Nic Petan for a breakaway, and the captain went top shelf for an early 1-0 lead. Tri-Cities tied it at the 8:35 mark on a goal from Ty Comrie, but the Hawks regained the lead at 11:50 when Bjorkstrand made a highlight reel play, stickhandling through two defenders and roofing a backhand to give Portland a 2-1 advantage they took into the second.
Portland then dominated for much of the second, outshooting Tri-Cities 24-11 in the frame. They broke through 8:17 into the period when defenseman Adam Henry brought the puck in from the blue line, cut across the middle and slid the puck past Americans netminder Evan Sarthou for a 3-1 lead. It was Henry’s first goal as a Hawk after being acquired from Saskatoon earlier this month.
Later in the period with Portland on a 5-on-3 power play, Paul Bittner stationed himself in front of the Americans’ net and put a rebound past Sarthou for a 4-1 lead. Portland added another with under a minute to go when Alex Schoenborn carried the puck into the offensive zone, eluded a defenseman and slid the puck into the net for a 5-1 lead the Hawks took into the third.
Tri-Cities got one back 1:07 into the third when Parker Bowles scored to cut Portland’s lead to 5-2, then got within two on a goal from Justin Gutierrez at the 4:14 mark to make it 5-3. Bjorkstrand made it a three-goal lead once again at the 14:39 mark when he knocked the puck in off an Americans defenseman to give the Hawks a 6-3 lead.
Tri-Cities got back within two 51 seconds later when Jordan Topping scored to make it 6-4, then cut it to one on a goal by Tyler Sandhu with just over two minutes to go. But Bjorkstrand sealed the win with an empty net goal to give the Hawks a 7-5 victory.
The Hawks will be back in action Wednesday when they take on the Victoria Royals at 7 p.m. at the Moda Center.