Winterhawks defeat Kelowna 4-3 Saturday

The Portland Winterhawks (11-12-0-3) knocked off the first place Kelowna Rockets (21-2-3-0) for the second straight night, defeating them 4-3 Saturday in Kelowna.

The Portland Winterhawks (11-12-0-3) knocked off the first place Kelowna Rockets (21-2-3-0) for the second straight night, defeating them 4-3 Saturday in Kelowna.

The Rockets have just five losses this season, but the Hawks are responsible for three of them, sweeping a pair this weekend in Kelowna and winning an overtime contest in Portland earlier this month.

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The Hawks opened the scoring with a power play goal at the 13:50 mark of the first when Nic Petan fed Chase De Leo, who fired it in for a 1-0 lead, which remained the score going into the second.

Portland made it 2-0 midway through the second when Oliver Bjorkstrand picked up the puck at the Kelowna blue line, split the defense and deked around netminder Jackson Whistle to score his 13th of the season. Late in the period, Dominic Turgeon attempted a centering pass from the corner that banked in off a Rockets defenseman to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead going into the third.

Kelowna got on the board 5:34 into third on a power play goal from Madison Bowey to cut the Hawks' lead to 3-1, then made it a one-goal game on a shorthanded goal from Rourke Chartier at the 13:00 mark. On the same penalty, 37 seconds later, the Hawks went back up by two when Miles Koules scored to make it 4-2.

The Rockets again made it a one-goal game when Chartier scored his second of the night with just over 30 seconds remaining, but the Hawks closed the door from there to finish with the 4-3 victory.

Portland had a balanced attack in the win, with four different goal scorers and six different players registering assists.

Adin Hill earned the win in net for the second straight night, stopping 34 of 37 shots. Jackson Whistle took the loss for the Rockets, with four goals allowed on 32 shots.

Portland was 2-5 on the power play and 3-4 on the penalty kill.

The Hawks are back in action Tuesday when they host the Victoria Royals Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.