Courtesy of the Winterhawks
The Portland Winterhawks (34-5-1-0) won their 11th straight game with a 6-4 win over the visiting Prince George Cougars (12-23-1-4) Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in front of 3,064 fans.
Prince George opened the scoring 2:11 into the first period on a goal by Jordan Tkatch, but the Hawks tied the game at the 13:13 mark when defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon ripped a slapshot from the point past Cougars netminder Brett Zarowny to even the game at 1-1.
Wotherspoon and Ty Rattie were playing their first games back after returning from the World Junior Championship. The Cougars took a 2-1 lead into the second period when Carson Bolduc scored at the 16:08 mark to regain the lead.
The Hawks made it 2-2 at the 4:11 mark of the second when Troy Rutkowski sidestepped a Cougars player and rifled a shot past Zarowny to tie the game.
Portland took their first lead of the game at the 12:20 mark when Dominic Turgeon scored in a goalmouth scramble for his second of the season and a 3-2 Hawks lead.
Wotherspoon then scored his second of the game with 1:03 to go in the period on another blast from the point to give Portland a 4-2 lead going into the third.
It remained a two-goal game until midway through the third, when Paul Bittner took a great feed from Oliver Bjorkstrand and scored on a breakaway at the 9:39 mark to make it 5-2. It was Bittner’s fourth straight game with a goal, and extended his overall point streak to six games.
Prince George cut it to 5-3 when Zach Pachiro scored at the 17:12 mark, but the Hawks got an empty net goal from Rutkowski to go back up by three. The Cougars got a late goal from Troy Bourke to round out the scoring in a 6-4 Portland victory.
Wotherspoon's two goals were a career-high.
Brendan Leipsic extended his scoring streak to nine games with an assist tonight. He has four goals and 13 assists for 17 points during the streak.
Brendan Burke picked up the win in net for Portland with 33 saves on 37 shots. Zarowny took the loss for the Cougars, allowing 32 goals on 37 shots.
Along with Rattie and Wotherspoon, Keegan Iverson and Dominic Turgeon returned to the Hawks after winning bronze at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Seth Jones remained out of the lineup, although Derrick Pouliot played for the first time since suffering a lower body injury in Portland’s last game before the holiday break.
The Hawks and Cougars meet again tomorrow night in the Coliseum at 7 p.m.