WHL: Ponich powers Winter Hawks past Cougars

The Canadian Press
2/11/2009 1:25:56 AM
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Luke Walker had a hat trick and Brett Ponich had three assists as the Portland Winter Hawks won their first road game since Jan. 3 with a 5-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars in Western Hockey League action Tuesday.

Walker, Chris Francis and Stefan Schneider, the latter on a penalty shot, staked Portland (14-36-2-2) to a 3-0 lead, and Walker made it 4-0 going to the third period. He completed the hat trick with 4:32 to play in the third period.

Corey Tyrell had the lone Prince George goal as the Cougars (22-33-0-2) saw a three-game win streak snapped.

Cougars goaltender Kevin Armstrong allowed the first three goals on 12 shots. Joe Caligiuri played the last two periods, stopping 12 of 14 shots.

The result came a night after the Cougars were fortunate to take a 3-2 win from the Winter Hawks, the worst team in the WHL, in the first game of the doubleheader.

"When your goalie doesn't bail you out, that's what happens _ we were just as bad (Monday) but (Armstrong) stole one for us," Cougars head coach Wade Klippenstein told the Prince George Citizen.

"It wasn't all the guys, I thought some competed, but the rest of the guys were not very good. It's unacceptable, and hopefully it's a one-time thing."

Elsewhere in the WHL it was: Brandon 7 Moose Jaw 0; Calgary 8 Kamloops 1; and Saskatoon 3 Medicine Hat 0.

At Prince George, B.C., Kurtis Mucha earned his 10th win of the season with a 33-save effort.

The Cougars remain in control of the Western Conference's final playoff spot, sitting a dozen points ahead of the Chillwack Bruins and 14 up on Portland.

Wheat Kings 7 Warriors 0

At Moose Jaw, Sask., Mark Stone scored three times to lead Brandon to a rout of Moose Jaw.

Brayden Schenn contributed a goal and three assists while Jay Fehr, Del Cowan and Chad Erb _ with his first of the season _ also scored for the Wheat Kings (38-15-3-1).

Jeff Bosch and Deven Dubyk combined to make 28 stops for Moose Jaw (15-38-1-2).

Hitmen 8 Blazers 1

At Calgary, Brandon Kozun notched two goals and an assist as the Hitmen hammered Kamloops.

Defenceman Paul Postma continued his torrid scoring pace with four assists for the Hitmen (48-7-3-1).

Carson McMillan, Bostjan Golicic, Austin Madaisky, Brett Sonne, Jason MacDonald and Cody Sylvester also scored for Calgary.

Jimmy Bubnick scored the lone goal of the game for the Blazers (26-27-1-4).

Blades 3 Tigers 0

At Saskatoon, Braden Holtby made 24 saves and Milan Kytnar scored twice as the Blades blanked Medicine Hat.

Stefan Elliott had a goal and two assists for the Blades (41-13-3-1).

Tyler Bunz made 32 saves for the Tigers (29-22-3-3),.


Portland Winter Hawks (Photo: TSN)


(Photo: TSN)
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