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Leipsic scores winner as the Winterhawks down the Giants in OT

Saturday, 02.16.2013 / 9:44 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Leipsic scores winner as the Winterhawks down the Giants in OT

PORTLAND, Ore. - Brendan Leipsic scored 49 seconds into overtime to lift the Portland Winterhawks to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants Saturday afternoon in Western Hockey League action.

Nicolas Petan, Paul Bittner and Taylor Leier also scored for Portland (47-9-3), which won for the first time in four overtime games this season.

Leipsic and Petan each have 41 goals this season, which leads the WHL.

Carter Popoff, Travis McEvoy and Cain Franson scored for Vancouver (15-43-1), which is 0-3-1 against the Winterhawks this season.

In a battle of the teams with the best and worst records in the WHL, the underdog Giants took a 2-0 lead in the second period on goals by Popoff and McEvoy.

Leier's goal with 1:05 remaining in the second period gave the Winterhawks some momentum, and Petan scored on the power play early in the third to make it 2-2.

With 7:35 left in regulation, Portland's Seth Jones fired a wrist shot from the point that trickled through Giants goalie Jared Rathjen and was tapped in by Bittner to give the Winterhawks their first lead.

Vancouver responded with a goal by Franson with 3:59 left in regulation to tie the game and set up overtime.

Brendan Burke stopped 29-of-32 shots for Portland to earn the win as Rathjen made 31 saves in defeat for Vancouver.

The Winterhawks went 1 for 6 on the power play while the Giants finished scoreless on four chances.

Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie