(ISN) – Oliver Bjorkstrand had a hat trick and six total points as the Portland Winterhawks (31-19-0-3) earned a 6-3 win over the Everett Silvertips (31-15-3-1) Saturday at the Moda Center in front of 10,819 fans.
The win was the Hawks’ eighth straight, and pulled them to within just one point of the first place Silvertips in the U.S. Division standings.
Bjorstrand’s hat trick was his third of the season, and with three assists his six points set a career-high.
Everett opened the scoring 7:47 into the game on a power play goal from Noah Juulsen, but Portland tied it three minutes later when Nic Petan drew the defense to him and fed Bjorkstrand, who fired it past Everett netminder Austin Lotz for a 1-1 tie. The Silvertips regained a lead at the 13:09 mark on a goal by Remi Laurencelle to take a 2-1 lead into the second period.
It remained a one-goal game until 10.1 seconds remained in the second, when Blake Heinrich found Bjorkstrand alone in front of the net, with Bjorkstrand banging it past Lotz for his second of the game and a 2-2 tie going into the third.
The Hawks then broke the game open in the third, scoring four times and outshooting Everett 20-8.
Just 16 seconds into the third Everett turned the puck over in their own zone, and Petan carried it across the middle and first it in for a 3-2 Portland lead.
Everett tied it at the 1:50 mark on a goal by Ivan Nikolishin to make it 3-3, but less than two minutes later Bjorkstrand was sprung on a breakaway and scored to complete the hat trick and give Portland a 4-3 lead. Bjorkstrand then started the next scoring play when he knocked down a Silvertip in the offensive zone, leading to a Chase De Leo power play goal at the at the 5:53 mark for a 5-3 Portland advantage. Late in the game De Leo added an empty net goal as the Hawks finished with the 6-3 win.
Along with Bjorkstrand’s six points, Nic Petan had a goal and four assists for five points and Paul Bittner had three assists.
Adin Hill earned the win in net with 22 saves on 25 shots. Lotz allowed five goals on 35 shots, with Portland adding the empty net goal.
The Hawks are off now until Friday when they travel to Seattle to take on the Thunderbirds.