The Portland Winterhawks (3-2-0-0) fell 4-3 to the Kelowna Rockets (1-2-1-0) Saturday in the Rose Garden in front of 6,071 fans.
Kelowna defenseman Myles Bell scored twice in the first period to give the Rockets a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Winterhawks got on the board 4:54 into the second period while on a 5-on-3 power play, as Brendan Leipsic corralled a puck in the crease and scored on a backhand to cut the deficit to 2-1. The Rockets regained a two-goal lead when Riley Stadel scored at the 7:16 mark, but with 12 seconds left in the period, Leipsic scored his second 5-on-3 goal of the frame to cut Kelowna’s lead to 3-2 going into the third period.
Portland tied the game at the 11:57 mark of the third when defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon took a feed at the left faceoff circle from Alex Schoenborn and fired it past Rockets netminder Jordon Cooke. With 59.2 seconds remaining and the score 3-3, Kelowna’s Zach Franko scored to give the Rockets the 4-3 win.
The Hawks held a big advantage in shots on goal Saturday, finishing with a 46-24 advantage.
Portland was 2-8 on the power play and 1-1 on the penalty kill.
It was the second game in as many nights between the two teams after the Hawks picked up a 1-0 win last night.
Portland now embarks on its longest road trip of the season, a six-game outing through the WHL’s East Division beginning Friday in Brandon, Manitoba. The next home game is Saturday, October 20 against Seattle at the Rose Garden at 7 p.m.