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Rookie Bittner with three points as the Winterhawks edge the Americans

Saturday, 12.29.2012 / 9:14 PM The Canadian Press

PORTLAND, Ore. - Rookie Paul Bittner scored two goals and added an assist as the Portland Winterhawks defeated the visiting Tri-City Americans 4-3 on Saturday in Western Hockey League action.

Brendan Leipsic and Nicolas Petan also scored for the Winterhawks (31-5-1), who have won eight straight games and 20 of their last 21.

Connor Rankin scored twice for the Americans (20-14-3), who also got a goal from Brian Williams.

Bittner, a 16-year-old, gave Portland a 1-0 lead at 11:04 of the first period and Petan made it 2-0 after 20 minutes of play.

The Americans scored all three of their goals in the second period, with Leipsic answering for Portland to make it 3-3 through two periods of play.

Bittner scored the game-winner on the power play with 8:25 left in regulation, redirecting a shot by Troy Rutkowski past Tri-City netminder Luke Lee-Knight.

Mac Carruth made 29 saves to earn the win for Portland as Lee-Knight stopped 26 shots in defeat.

Portland went 1 for 3 with the man advantage, while Tri-City finished 1 for 2.

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