PORTLAND – Two-goal bursts midway through the second and third periods turned a close Western Hockey League game into a rout as the red-hot Portland Winterhawks walked over the Spokane Chiefs 8-3 on Friday night before 10,547 in the Rose Garden.
In its ninth straight win, and 10th in the last 11, Portland (43-15-2-1, 89 points) scored twice on power plays and once shorthanded to maintain a two-point lead atop the U.S. Division.
Dominik Uher played a key roll for Spokane (32-21-4-3, 71 points). He set up Mitch Holmberg for his 23rd goal early in the second period that drew the Chiefs even at 1, and scored his 26th goal with 9 seconds left in the second period to close the gap to 4-2.
But only Ian Stewart’s 12th goal, his fifth in the last six games, countered a four-goal third period for the Winterhawks. That featured three goals in 2:31, including unassisted goals 38 seconds apart by Brendan Leipsic and Sven Bartschi.
Joey Baker, off one of four Spokane turnovers on which the Winterhawks converted, and Taylor Peters, shorthanded, scored 48 seconds apart in the second period to break things open. Ty Rattie scored his 52nd goal, and 26th on the power play, to kickstart the Winterhawks 3:38 into the game.
Portland outshot Spokane just 37-34, but the Chiefs provided little support for goalies Mac Engel, who played the first 51:41, and Eric Williams, who finished up. Portland had three unassisted goals.