PORTLAND -- Brendan Leipsic had a hat trick to lead the Portland Winterhawks (55-12-1-2) to an 8-4 win over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds (24-38-7-2) Friday at the Rose Garden in front of a sellout crowd of 10,947.
With the win the Hawks have 113 points on the season, tying the franchise record set in the 1980-81 season, with two games remaining to break the record.
The Hawks opened with two goals from Leipsic in the first period, first at the 11:51 mark then at the 17:13 mark after stripping the puck from a Thunderbird to take a 2-0 lead. Seattle got one back late in the first on a power play goal by Seth Swenson with just over 19 seconds remaining to make it 2-1 after 20 minutes.
The teams exchanged several goals quickly in the second, beginning 1:20 into the frame when Seattle s Justin Hickman scored to make it 2-2. The Hawks regained the lead 1:30 later when Ty Rattie beat Seattle netminder Danny Mumaugh with a shot from the slot to give Portland a 3-2 lead, but the Thunderbirds again tied it just 38 seconds later on a goal by Adam Kambeitz. It remained 3-3 until 2:01 remained in the period, when Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his 30th goal of the season to make it 4-3 Portland going into the third.
Leipsic completed the hat trick 3:58 into the third with a shorthanded goal to give the Hawks a 5-3 lead. It was his second hat trick of the season after a four-goal game against Everett on December 4. Later in the period with the Hawks on a 5-on-3 power play, Rattie scored his second of the game to make it 6-3 at 12:34 mark, then they extended it to 7-3 on a goal by Tyler Wotherspoon while still on the power play.
Seattle got one back from Roberts Lipsbergs at the 14:25 mark to make it 7-4, then Portland s Joey Baker scored his first of the season on a power play at the 19:20 mark to round out the scoring in an 8-4 win.
Brendan Burke earned the win in net with 31 saves on 35 shots. Mumaugh took the loss for Seattle, allowing eight goals 36 shots.
In addition to Leipsic s hat trick, Rattie, Troy Rutkowski and Nic Petan all finished with three points apiece.
The Hawks were 3-8 on the power play and 2-3 on the penalty kill.
The Hawks are in Seattle tomorrow night with a chance to win their 29th road game of the season, which set a new WHL record. They round out the regular season Sunday at 5 p.m. against the Spokane Chiefs in the Rose Garden.