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WHL Roundup: Calgary Hitmen come back to beat league-best Portland Winterhawks

Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:04 AM The Canadian Press

Beating the best team in the Western Hockey League demanded some last-minute heroics from Calgary's Cody Sylvester.

Sylvester scored two of the Hitmen's three goals in the third period, including the game winner with 1:32 left, as Calgary rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Portland Winterhawks 4-3 on Wednesday.

Alex Roach and Brooks Macek also scored for Calgary (34-16-4), which broke a three-game losing streak. Greg Chase contributed three assists for the Hitmen.

Brendan Leipsic, Shaun MacPherson and Ty Rattie scored for the Winterhawks (43-8-3), who ended a seven-game streak without a regulation loss.

Chris Driedger stopped 42 shots for the Hitmen, including all 19 he faced in the third period. His Portland counterpart, Mac Carruth, made 26 saves in defeat.

Elsewhere in the WHL it was: Saskatoon 7, Prince Albert 1; Victoria 4, Seattle 1; Brandon 4, Lethbridge 1; Red Deer 4, Prince George 3 (SO); and Spokane 5, Kelowna 0.

At Portland, Ore., the Winterhawks scored the only goal of the first period on a long wrist shot by MacPherson that got past a screened Driedger.

Roach tied the game for Calgary on the power play midway through the second, but the Winterhawks seemingly took control with goals 14 seconds apart late in the period.

Sylvester's goal 56 seconds into the third period gave the Hitmen life. Macek tied the game on a rebound with 13:03 left in regulation shortly after a video review of a Portland shot that Driedger covered just before the puck crossed the goal-line.

With Portland pressing for a late goal, Calgary countered with an end-to-end rush, and Sylvester beat Carruth with a one-timer to win the game.

Wheat Kings 4, Hurricanes 1

At Brandon, Curtis Honey made 36 saves for the Wheat Kings (20-31-4) in a win over Lethbridge (25-24-8).

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Blades 7, Raiders 1

At Saskatoon, the Blades (29-21-3) won their sixth straight game and moved to within four points of East Division-leading Prince Albert (30-19-5).

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Royals 4, Thunderbirds 1

At Victoria, Jamie Crooks scored twice for the Royals (30-19-4) in a win over Seattle (19-31-5).

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Rebels 4, Cougars 3 (SO)

At Prince George, B.C., Patrik Bartosak made 50 saves as Red Deer (28-21-6) held on to beat the Cougars (16-30-8) in a shootout.

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Chiefs 5, Rockets 0

At Spokane, Wash., Eric Williams stopped 33 shots to help the Chiefs (31-20-2) shut out Kelowna (40-11-4).

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