Hawks Beat Seattle 2-1 Saturday

Playing their first game in over a week, the Portland Winterhawks (26-12-0-3) defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds (17-16-3-4) 2-1 Saturday at the Rose Garden in front of 10,288 fans.

The 10,288 fans in attendance marked the second straight home game with over 10,000 people in attendance, and in the team’s three home games since returning from the Christmas break the average attendance has been 9,559.

Craig Cunningham opened the scoring at the 17:11 mark of the first period on a power play when he brought the puck into the Thunderbirds’ zone and fired a shot past Seattle netminder Calvin Pickard to make it 1-0. His goal came after registering a hat trick against Seattle last Friday in Portland’s last game.

The Winterhawks made it 2-0 at the 11:25 mark of the second period when Sven Bartschi corralled a rebound at the side of the net and fired it in for his team-leading 22nd goal of the season, the only goal of the second period.

The Thunderbirds got on the board on a power play at the 14:50 mark of the third period when Travis Toomey tipped in a point shot to make it 2-1. But that would be as close as Seattle would get, as Portland closed out the game and earned the 2-1 win.

The Winterhawks held a 44-29 advantage in shots, with Mac Carruth making 28 saves in the win.

Portland had its full roster in action for the first time in a month, as Bartschi, Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter were back from the World Junior Championship, while Brendan Leipsic and Derrick Pouliot returned from the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The Winterhawks are back in action tomorrow night when they host the Everett Silvertips at the Memorial Coliseum at 5 p.m.

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