The Portland Winterhawks (41-15-2-1) took over first place in the U.S. Division, and Ty Rattie reached 50 goals and 100 points, in a 7-2 win over the visiting Prince George Cougars (19-37-0-2) in a Presidents Day matinee Monday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in front of 4,631 fans.
The victory moved the Hawks two points ahead of the idle Tri-City Americans for top spot in the division, and with 85 points they are just one point behind the Kamloops Blazers for first overall in the league.
With two goals and an assist, Rattie reached two major milestones in today’s game, scoring his 50th goal and registering his 100th point of the season. He’s Portland’s first 50-goal scorer since Josef Balej had 51 in the 2001-02 season, and the first to reach 100 points since Todd Robinson had 109 in the 1997-98 Memorial Cup season.
The Hawks also have two players with points in 10+ consecutive games, as Oliver Gabriel has an 11-game streak and Bartschi has points in 10 straight. Included in Bartschi’s streak is five straight multi-point games, as he’s posted 13 points in that span.
The Hawks struck early when Chase De Leo fired a shot between the pads of Prince George netminder Drew Owsley 2:46 into the game to give Portland an early 1-0 lead. Sven Bartschi extended Portland’s lead to 2-0 with a shorthanded goal at the 8:20 mark, but the Cougars came back 55 seconds later, as Troy Bourke scored to get Prince George on the board and make it 2-1.
Portland continued applying pressure throughout the period, and on a power play at the 12:50 mark Joe Morrow fired a blast from the point that got past Owsley to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead they took into the second period.
From there the Hawks pulled away early in the second when Bartschi and Brendan Leipsic scored 2:13 apart to make it 5-1. After the fifth goal, the Cougars’ Owsley was replaced in net with Devon Fordyce. Portland extended the lead to 6-1 midway through the period when Ty Rattie scored on a power play for his 49th goal of the season, and they took the five-goal advantage into the third.
The Cougars got one back 16 seconds into the third on a goal by Daulton Siwak to make it 6-2. It remained that way through most of the third, until Rattie netted his 50th at 17:10 to make it 7-2.
Mac Carruth earned the win in net for Portland, adding to his franchise record with his league-leading 37th win of the season.
Derrick Pouliot extended his points streak to seven games, while Rattie now has a six-game streak.
The Hawks and Cougars are back on the ice tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in the Coliseum.