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WHL Roundup: Bjorkstrand, Leier star in Winterhawks' victory against Chiefs

Monday, 02.18.2013 / 10:34 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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WHL Roundup: Bjorkstrand, Leier star in Winterhawks' victory against Chiefs

When their league-leading scorers drew blank, the Portland Winterhawks still found more than enough firepower to dominate a division rival.

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored four goals and Taylor Leier registered a career-high six points as the Portland Winterhawks downed the Spokane Chiefs 8-3 Monday in Western Hockey League play.

Chase De Leo contributed five assists for Portland, which built a 5-0 lead midway through the second period.

With two goals and four assists, Leier posted the first six-point game by a Winterhawk since Chad Wolkowski did it on Dec. 1, 2002.

Shaun MacPherson and Paul Bittner also scored for Portland (48-9-3).

Portland won Monday despite getting no points from Brendan Leipsic and Nicolas Petan, the top two scorers in the league. Ty Rattie, who is fourth in the WHL's scoring race, also went without a point.

Elsewhere in the WHL it was: Kootenay 5, Swift Current 2; Edmonton 6, Prince George 0; and Saskatoon 5, Brandon 1.

At Portland, Ore., Alessio Bertaggia, Adam Helewka and Mike Aviani were the goal scorers for Spokane (34-24-2), which has been outscored 14-3 over its past two games.

Leier scored twice in the first five minutes of the game to give Portland an early two-goal lead. MacPherson's long slapshot put the Winterhawks up 3-0 after one period.

Bjorkstrand, a 17-year-old rookie from Denmark, registered a hat trick in the second period as Portland took a 6-2 lead after 40 minutes. His fourth goal of the game came with 12:03 left in regulation to put Portland up 7-2.

Aviani's power-play goal in the third period brought the Chiefs a bit closer, but Bittner scored a late goal with the man advantage to round out the scoring.

Spokane goaltender Eric Williams stopped 10-of-14 shots before being replaced by Garret Hughson, who made 14 saves in relief. Mac Carruth went the distance for Portland, making 28 saves.

Portland went 3 for 8 on the power play, while the Chiefs finished 2 for 5.

Ice 5, Broncos 2

At Swift Current, Sask., Jaedon Descheneau scored a hat trick to lift Kootenay (29-29-2) past the Broncos (28-26-6).


Oil Kings 6, Cougars 0

At Edmonton, Michael St. Croix had a goal and two assists against Prince George (18-34-8) to become the first player in Oil Kings (43-12-5) history to surpass 300 career points with 302.


Blades 5, Wheat Kings 1

At Saskatoon, the Blades (35-21-3) scored five unanswered goals to beat Brandon (21-35-5) for their 12th straight win.

Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis