WINTERHAWKS BLAST CHIEFS, CLINCH U.S. DIVISION – Oliver Bjorkstrand scored four goals and set up another to lead the Portland Winterhawks to an 8-3 win over the visiting Spokane Chiefs in Western Hockey League action on Monday.
With the win, the Winterhawks clinch the U.S. Division title for the second time over the last three seasons.
Taylor Leier scored twice and set up four more for a six-point effort and Chase De Leo notched five assists for the Winterhawks (48-9-1-2), who also got singles from Shaun MacPherson and Paul Bittner as they earn their second win in a row. Mac Carruth made 28 saves to claim his 113th career victory.
Alessio Bertaggia, Adam Helewka and Mike Aviani scored for the Chiefs (34-24-2-0), who allowed the game’s first five goals as they suffer their second loss in a row. Eric Williams and Garret Hughson combined for 25 saves in a losing effort.
BLADES 5, WHEAT KINGS 1
Darren Dietz scored his 17th goal of the season and chipped in an assist to help lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings on Monday.
Josh Nicholls and Shane McColgan also each tallied a goal and an assist while Lukas Sutter and Matej Stransky also counted for the Blades (35-21-0-3), who went 1-for-5 on the power play while pushing their win streak to 12 games. Andrey Makarov made 19 saves to claim the win.
Jason Swyripa scored the only marker for the Wheat Kings (21-35-3-2), who were outshot 45-20 by the hosts as they suffer their second loss in a row. Curtis Honey turned aside 40 of 45 shots he faced in the loss for Brandon.
ICE 5, BRONCOS 2
Jaedon Descheneau scored three goals to lead the visiting Kootenay Ice to a 5-2 triumph over the Swift Current Broncos on Monday.
Levi Cable picked up a goal and an assist and Zach McPhee also scored for the Ice (29-29-2-0), who reach the .500 mark for the first time this season and move into eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Mackenzie Skapski turned in a 23-save effort to earn his 28th win of the season.
Adam Lowry scored both goals for the Broncos (28-26-3-3), who have dropped six of their last nine outings and now sit just two points up on Kootenay for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Eetu Laurikainen made 20 saves in the loss.
OIL KINGS 6, COUGARS 0
Laurent Brossoit stopped all 20 shots he faced to post his fifth shutout of the season as the Edmonton Oil Kings blanked the visiting Prince George Cougars 6-0 on Monday.
Michael St. Croix scored and set up two more, giving him 302 career points, while Curtis Lazar – with two goals – Henrik Samuelsson, David Musil and TJ Foster also scored for the Oil Kings (43-12-2-3), who earn their 11th shutout win of the season.
Mac Engel made 34 saves for the Cougars (18-34-2-6), who close out their four-game Central Division tour with a 1-3 record and remain in ninth place in the Western Conference.