The Portland Winterhawks (3-1-0-0) opened an eight-game road trip with a 6-1 win in Seattle Saturday over the Thunderbirds (1-2-0-0).
Skyler McKenzie opened the scoring on a power play 8:19 into the game when he swooped in to bang a rebound past Seattle netminder Rylan Toth for a 1-0 Portland lead. They extended the lead at 15:03 on another power play when Keoni Texeira threaded a pass to a streaking Colton Veloso, who fired it past Toth for a 2-0 lead they took into the second.
It remained a two-goal lead until 10:36 of the second, when Texeira again set up a goal with a great pass, this time feeding newly-minted captain Keegan Iverson who put it in for his first of the season and a 3-0 advantage. Portland pushed it to 4-0 at 14:01 with their third power play goal of the game, this one coming off the stick of Ryan Hughes after he took a great backhand feed from Evan Weinger and wired it in.
After that fourth goal, the Thunderbirds made a goaltending change, bringing in Carl Stankowski to replace Toth.
Seattle then got on the board at 15:42 when Alexander True scored to cut the lead to 4-1, which remained the score going into the third.
The power play struck again 2:06 into the third when Alex Overhardt made it 5-1 with the team’s fourth conversion while on the man advantage. Late in the period with the Hawks killing a penalty, Iverson was awarded a penalty shot, and converted for a 6-1 score that would stand as the final.
Portland’s can credit special teams for tonight’s success, as they went 4-5 on the power play and 7-7 on the penalty kill.
Texeira had four assists in the win, while Hughes and Iverson finished with three points apiece for the Hawks.
Cole Kehler earned the win in net for the Hawks, as he stopped 25 of 26 Seattle shots.
Tonight’s game was the first of a season-long eight-game road trip. They head out to Swift Current Tuesday to take on the Broncos for their first game as they head through the East Division for six games, before wrapping up the trek in Spokane on October 15.