The Portland Winterhawks won again last night in Prince George, again in dominating fashion. They win the season series with the Cougars 4 games to 0, outscoring them 21-7 overall.
The Hawks opened the scoring just 23 seconds into the game when Taylor Leier, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Chase De Leo burst in on a 3 on 2 break, with De Leo putting home the rebound past starting Goalie Brett Zarowny.
Then the top line, not wanting to be outdone combined on a beauty of a play, Nic Petan bouncing the puck to Brendan Leipsic on the backdoor, to make it 2-0.
The Hawks then chased Zarowny with their 3rd goal in the first 7:43 of the game, when Troy Rutkowski and Brendan Leipsic drove the net, generating a couple shots before Leipsic buried it for his second goal of the game.
Carruth stood tall when he needed to when P.G. seemed to kick it into a higher gear and put a few solid scoring chances, his way late in the first and early in the second period.
Against the flow of play, 3rd liner Preston Kopeck held off P.G. D-man Raymond Grewal and slipped a backhand wrap around shot past Mac Engel to make it 4-0.
Then, later in the 2nd, P.G. forward Zach Pochiro had his pocket picked at the Hawks blue line by Ty Rattie, who burst in alone on a break away to make it 5-0.
The Cougars got one back when Colin Jacobs threw it in the crease, where Chase Wittala poked in his 15th of the season.
That was all that the Cougars could muster, as the Hawks scored another in the 3rd when Leipsic found Rattie in the slot, for his 2nd of the game and 4th of the weekend, closing the scoring in the game and giving the Hawks the 6-1 win.
3 Stars of the Game:
#3-Mac Carruth- He stood tall when they needed him, most notably when he robbed Troy Bourke halfway intothe 2nd period.
#2-Ty Rattie-2 goals and an assist combined with great backchecking, as he had another great road game.
#1- Brendan Leipsic- 2 goals and an assist and he once gain got under the opponents skin, causing the Cougars to take penalties.
-The Hawks went nearly 15 minutes without a shot on goal between the end of the 1st and beginning of the 2nd period.
-Rattie, when given his second breakaway chance in 2 games, went forehand glove side this time, when he went backhand, blocker side the previos night.
-The Hawks will be holding their collective breaths when Monday rolls around, as both Defensemen Tyler Wotherspoon and Troy Rutkowski took checking from behind penalties, with Rutkowski looking to have driven Cougars forward Jari Ericsson's face into the glass in the 2nd.
-Edmonton lost, yet again, this time 8-1 in Tri City, giving the Hawks a bigger lead in the overall WHL standings 105-91 lead.
-Hawks were, surprisingly outshot in this one 33-31.
-Kelowna won again, keeping pace with the Hawks 13 points back with 9 games to go.
-P.G. needed at least a point from this weekend to keep playoff hopes alive, as Everett won in ot vs Seattle, giving them a 5 point lead for the final seed.