(ISN) – Oliver Bjorkstrand made history Friday as the Portland Winterhawks (38-20-2-3) defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds (32-24-4-5) 7-1 Friday at the Moda Center in front of 9,181 fans.
Bjorkstrand was front and center in Friday’s game, with several historic achievements. His first came quickly, as just 2:53 into the game he was sprung on a breakaway and beat Seattle netminder Taran Kozun for a goal in his 12th consecutive game, setting a new team record. The previous mark of 11 was originally set back in the team’s inaugural season by Tony Currie.
Portland took their 1-0 lead into the second, but again they struck quickly as just 2:59 into the period Chase De Leo stickhandled high in the Seattle zone and fired a shot through traffic Kozun didn’t see to extend it to 2-0.
Bjorkstrand had another piece of history to make, as at the 10:51 mark he scored again, giving him 50 goals in his 50th game of the season. The last WHL player to accomplish the 50-in-50 feat was Medicine Hat’s Emerson Etem in the 2011-12 season. It also secured Bjorkstrand’s second straight 50-goal season, making him the first Hawk with successive 50-goal seasons since Dennis Holland did so in the 1987-88 and 1988-89 campaigns.
Amazingly, Bjorkstrand wasn’t done, as less than two minutes later he struck again to complete a hat trick and give Portland a 4-0 lead they took into the second.
Just over two minutes into the third, goaltender Adin Hill made a sprawling save which led a break the other way, culminating with a Keegan Iverson backhand beating backup netminder Logan Flodell for a 5-0 lead.
Seattle got one back at the 3:08 mark on a goal by Cory Millette, but Anton Cederholm scored on a blast from the point at 6:40 to once again make it a five-goal game at 6-1. The Hawks added one more when Bjorkstrand notched his fourth of the game for a 7-1 win.
Bjorkstrand is up to 52 goals on the season, tops in the WHL. Nic Petan had four assists in the win, and he is third in the league with 63 helpers.
Adin Hill earned the win in net with 24 saves on 25 shots.
The Hawks are back in action tomorrow when they host the Tri-City Americans at the Moda Center at 7 p.m.