VANCOUVER - Jordan Martinook scored three goals, including the game-winner, as the Vancouver Giants defeated the Portland Winterhawks 5-3 in Western Hockey League action Friday night.
Despite outshooting the Giants 19-15 in the first period, the Winterhawks found themselves down 3-1 as Vancouver was more opportunistic with its chances.
Brett Kulak beat Mac Caruth from close range to give Vancouver (20-10-2) an early 1-0 lead. Luke Fenske found Kulak all alone with a pass from the right side to pick up the assist.
At the 6:13 mark Martinook took advantage on the power play to double Vancouver?s lead 2-0 after a Portland bench minor for having too many men on the ice. Martinook came out from behind the net without a Portland defenceman in sight, jamming it past Carruth for his 18th goal of the season.
Brendan Gallagher made it a 3-0 lead by skating away from the left boards and cutting in to beat Carruth with a wrist shot for his 24th goal of the season.
Troy Rutkowski scored at 14:05 to bring the Winterhawks (20-10-3) back into the game, firing a puck into the roof of the net past Adam Morrison to make it 3-1.
With just under four minutes left in the first, Blake Orban and Taylor Leier dropped the gloves. Orban landed the final blow, knocking Leier off balance to the delight of the home crowd.
At 6:49 of the second, Brendan Leipsic was the beneficiary of a clever pass from Leier, who passed the puck backwards through his own legs cross crease. Morrison got a piece of Leipsic's shot but not enough, as the Winterhawks made it 3-2.
At 13:52, Martinook scored his second power-play goal of the game to increase the Giants lead to 4-2, as the centre followed up a weak shot by Neil Manning, snapping past Carruth from just in front of the crease.
Portland brought the score to 4-3 with its third power-play goal of the game at 6:34 of the third, as Brad Ross finished up a tick-tack-toe play from Derrick Pouliot and Sven Bartschi.
Morrison came up big with just under seven minutes left in the game, stopping Ross on a breakaway for one of his 46 saves.
Martinook capped the scoring with an empty-netter at 19:48 to secure the 5-3 win for Vancouver.