Winterhawks set two records in 6-5 win at Seattle

The Portland Winterhawks (56-12-1-2) set two significant records in a wild 6-5 shootout win Saturday in Seattle over the Thunderbirds (24-39-7-2).

The win gave Portland 115 points on the season, passing the 113 points the 1980-81 team amassed for a new single season franchise record. In addition, it was Portland's 29th road victory of the season, setting a new WHL record.

By earning a point, Seattle secured seventh place in the Western Conference, meaning the Everett Silvertips will be Portland's opponent in the first round of the Western Hockey League Playoffs. That series will begin Friday at the Rose Garden at 7 p.m.

Nic Petan had a big night in the win with a goal and four assists for five points. He and teammate Brendan Leipsic, who had two points, are tied for the league lead with 120 points each going into tomorrow's season finale.

The Hawks played a dominating first period, outshooting Seattle 13-4. They opened the scoring with a power play goal from Nic Petan 4:08 into the game. Seattle's Andrew Johnson tied it at 1-1 at the 9:29 mark, but Portland regained the lead when Paul Bittner scored at the 13:45 mark to make it 2-1 going into the second.

That set up a wild second period in which the two teams combined for six goals, including three from Seattle's Roberts Lipsbergs, who tied the game at 2-2 early in the period, but Portland bounced back with goals from Derrick Pouliot and Seth Jones to go up 4-2. After the Hawks scored their fourth goal Seattle replaced starting netminder Brandon Glover with Danny Mumaugh.

Lipsbergs scored his second of the period on a power play at the 14:18 mark to cut the lead to 4-3. Brendan Leipsic put the Hawks back on top by two at the 16:22 mark, but Lipsbergs netted his hat trick goal 24 seconds later to cut Portland's lead to 5-4 going into the third.

It remained 5-4 until just over a minute remained in the third, when Lipsbergs scored his fourth of the game to make it 5-5 and force overtime.

The extra frame saw lots of end-to-end action, but neither team found the back of the net, so the game went to a shootout.

The shootout went to a sixth round, with Chase De Leo finally ending the game with the winner.

The Hawks close out the regular season tomorrow against the Spokane Chiefs at 5 p.m. in Rose Garden, then open the playoffs next Friday and Saturday in the Rose Garden, both at 7 p.m.