Brad Ross had two goals and two assists and the Portland Winterhawks rallied from a two-goal defect to earn a wild 7-6 shootout win over the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League on Tuesday.
Saskatoon led 6-4 with 10 minutes left in regulation, but goals by Portland defencemen Troy Rutkowski and Joseph Morrow send the game to overtime. After a scoreless extra period, Portland went perfect in the shootout, winning 3-1.
The result spoiled the outstanding performance by Saskatoon's Josh Nicholls, who scored four goals and added two assists. Nicholls also scored the Blades? only goal in the shootout.
Nicholls, a 19-year-old right-winger with 215 games of regular-season experience in the WHL, had never scored more than two goals in a game despite scoring 34 times in 2010-11. He eclipsed his previous career-high of five points, which he set last season on March 5.
Elsewhere in the WHL it was: Calgary 7 Swift Current 1; Medicine Hat 2 Kootenay 1; and Brandon 4 Seattle 1.
At Portland, Ore., Ty Rattie and Brendan Leipsic also scored for the Winterhawks (6-4-1), who are about to embark on a nine-game, 17-day road trip that starts Friday in Edmonton.
Matej Stransky had a goal and two assists for Saskatoon (7-2-1), which fell to 1-1-1 in a five-game trip through the WHL???s U.S. Division.
Saskatoon goaltender Adam Todd was making his first career WHL start. He stopped 37 of 43 shots in regulation, but could not come up with a save in the shootout, allowing goals to Rattie, Bartschi and Derrick Pouliot.
Mac Carruth made 33 saves for Portland, and stopped Jesse Paradis in the shootout.
Hitmen 7 Broncos 1
At Swift Current, Sask., Victor Rask scored three goals as Calgary (3-4-1) won its first Western road game of the season by beating the Broncos (4-7-1).
Tigers 2 Ice 1
At Medicine Hat, Alta., Emerson Etem scored his 14th goal and Tyler Bunz made 31 saves as the Tigers (8-3-0) beat Kootenay (7-3-2).
Wheat Kings 4 Thunderbirds 1
At Kent, Wash., Brandon (6-3-1) peppered rookie Seattle goaltender Daniel Cotton in a win over the Thunderbirds (3-4-1).