The Portland Winterhawks (15-14-0-0) scored the winning goal with under a minute to go in regulation as they defeated the Prince George Cougars (18-10-1-1) 5-4 Friday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
With the game even and time running out, Dominic Turgeon led a rush into the offensive zone, fought off a defender and made a pass between his legs to Rihards Bukarts who beat netminder Ty Edmonds to give the Hawks the win.
Down 4-2 earlier in the third, it marked the second straight game the Hawks erased a third period deficit to earn a comeback win. Wednesday in Everett the Hawks were down 5-2 early in the third, before scoring five straight to beat the Silvertips 7-5.
Prince George’s Chase Witala opened the game with a pair of goals in the first 1:23 of the contest as he staked the visitors to an early 2-0 lead. The Hawks bounced back at 4:55when Keoni Texeira, playing forward in the absence of three regulars, pounced on a loose puck in the crease and banged it in to cut the deficit to 2-1.
It remained 2-1 until 3:17 of the second, when rookie Tanner Nagel scored his first career goal, also his first career point, to even the game at 2-2. Nagel was playing his seventh career game tonight, having been called up on November 28.
Prince George regained a lead at 14:21 when Kody McDonald scored to regain a 3-2 lead they took into the third.
The visitors made it a two-goal lead when Jesse Gabrielle scored at 7:09 to give the Cougars a 4-2 advantage. On the ensuing shift, Alex Schoenborn stole the puck at his own blueline and raced in on a breakaway. He was stopped by netminder Ty Edmonds, but Rihards Bukarts banged in the rebound to again make it a one-goal game at 4-3.
The Hawks kept up the pressure, and it paid off at 13:49 when Dominic Turgeon scored on a second effort to tie the game at 4-4. Turgeon then came up big again when he set up Bukarts with his highlight-reel assist for the winner.
Schoenborn finished with three points in the game, while Bukarts, Turgeon and Jack Dougherty each had two points.
The Hawks and Cougars meet again tomorrow in the annual Les Schwab Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are reminded that the game starts an hour earlier than usual at 6 p.m. With a Trail Blazers game next door and increased security measures at Rose Quarter events, fans are encouraged to arrive early.