(ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks (41-21-2-4) staged an incredible comeback as they overcame a four-goal deficit to earn an 8-6 win over the visiting Spokane Chiefs (34-30-3-1) Sunday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The Hawks scored five goals in the third period to cap a wild game and snap a two-game losing streak. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and four assists for five points in the win, and took over the league scoring lead with 108 points, which also gives him a three-point cushion on second place Trevor Cox of the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Spokane opened with a 3-0 lead in the first on a power play goal from Kolten Olynek, a shorthanded goal from Liam Stewart and power play goal from Riley Whittingham.
Stewart scored his second of the game 2:32 into the second on a power play for a 4-0 lead for the visitors. Portland then got on the board at 6:20 when defenseman Keoni Texeira took a feed from Oliver Bjorkstrand and ripped a shot past netminder Tyson Verhelst, making it 4-1.
The deficit was then cut in half at 11:35 when Layne Viveiros drove in from the blueline and fired a shot high past Verhelst to get the Hawks within two at 4-2. Portland kept the pressure going and less than a minute later Chase De Leo scored on a power play and got the Hawks within one, 4-3.
Spokane went back up by two at 13:36 when Stewart scored his third of the game to give the Chiefs a 5-3 lead, which remained the score going into the third.
From there the Hawks staged a furious rally to get back in the game. They got back within one quickly as just 1:49 into the period Paul Bittner scored on a power play to make it 5-4. Portland erased the deficit at the 6:01 mark while shorthanded when Oliver Bjorkstrand collected puck in the neutral zone, brought it into the Spokane zone and fired it past Verhelst for the equalizer.
Spokane regained the lead just over a minute later on the same penalty when Adam Helewka scored for a 6-5 lead.
But from there it was all Portland. Keegan Iverson tied it once again at the 10:29 mark, and Portland took their first lead at 16:24 when defenseman Anton Cederholm scored on a shot from the point to make it 7-6. With six seconds remaining and Verhelst on the bench for an extra attacker, Chase De Leo scored into the empty net to give the Hawks the 8-6 win.
The Hawks will be back in action Wednesday when they travel to Spokane for a rematch with the Chiefs.