Nic Petan had four goals and Brad Ross had a hat trick of his own as the Portland Winterhawks (48-17-3-1) earned an 11-3 road win over the Seattle Thunderbirds (22-43-1-1) Saturday.
The win gives Portland 100 points on the season, and vaulted the Hawks into first place in the Western Conference, passing the idle Tri-City Americans (99 points) to take over top spot. Portland remains one point behind the league-leading Edmonton Oil Kings (101 points), who defeated the Red Deer Rebels Saturday, in the race for the Scotty Munro Trophy and home ice advantage through the playoffs.
The hat tricks were the 11th and 12th of the season by Hawks players. Ross now has two hat tricks on the season, while it was the first for Petan, a 16-year-old rookie. Petan’s four-goal night was the third of the season by a Hawk, joining Ty Rattie and Sven Bartschi.
Along with Petan’s four goals, Rattie had four assists on the night, while Ross added an assist with his three goals for four points, and Cam Reid had two goals and two assists for four points of his own.
The Hawks came out of the gates blazing, scoring three goals in the first three minutes of the game. Petan opened the scoring 45 seconds into the game, followed 20 seconds later by Taylor Leier. Cam Reid then made it 3-0 at the 2:52 mark to give the Hawks a commanding early lead.
After Seattle’s Braeden Laroque cut it to 3-1 at the 14:15 mark, Ross and Petan came back with goals 55 seconds apart to give Portland a 5-1 lead after one period.
They didn’t let up in the second, as they once again struck for three quick goals, all on the power play, in the first two minutes of the period. Ross potted his second of the game just 52 seconds into the frame, followed just 13 seconds later by Reid’s second. Then 52 seconds after Reid’s goal, Petan picked up the hat trick to put the Hawks up 8-1.
Seattle’s Seth Swenson scored a power play goal the 12:40 mark, and they added another power play goal by Connor Sanvido at the 17:46 mark to make it 8-3 going into the third period.
The score remained 8-3 until Ross completed his hat trick at the 13:16 mark of the third, to give Portland a 9-3 lead and push his goal total for the season to 42. Petan then potted his fourth of the night at the 14:54 mark to make the lead 10-3, and Brendan Leipsic scored at the 17:30 mark give the Hawks the 11-3 victory.
Portland more than doubled Seattle’s shots on goal with a 54-25 advantage. The Hawks were 3-7 on the power play and 3-5 on the penalty kill.
The Hawks will practice in Portland Monday, then hit the road again Tuesday as they play in Victoria against the Royals on Wednesday and Friday.