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WHL: Burke outplays Comrie, Winterhawks down Americans

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The Canadian Press
12/29/2012 2:27:03 AM
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In a matchup between two of the top 17-year-old goaltenders in the Western Hockey League, Portland's Brendan Burke got the firepower he needed up front to outduel Tri-City's Eric Comrie on Friday night.

Taylor Peters and Oliver Bjorkstrand each had a goal and an assist and Burke stopped 43-of-46 shots as the Winterhawks held on for a 4-3 victory over the Americans.

The victory improves Burke's record to 11-3-1 while his goals-against average has dropped to 2.79 and his save percentage is at .898.

"Our team, I thought, played a good team game," said Portland coach Travis Green, who is missing three players to the world junior championship and two to the world under-17 hockey challenge. "A gutty performance by a lot of guys, and both goalies played great."

Kirill Vorobev and Taylor Leier also scored for the Winterhawks (30-5-1), who extended their winning streak to seven games.

Justin Feser had a pair of goals for the Americans (20-13-3) and Connor Rankin scored the other.

Comrie turned aside 34 shots in a losing cause for Tri-City, which have dropped four of five meetings this season to Portland.

Portland went 2 for 3 on the power play while Tri-City scored twice on five chances with the man advantage.

Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Prince Albert 5 Saskatoon 4; Swift Current 6, Medicine Hat 4; Moose Jaw 4 Brandon 3; Lethbridge 2, Calgary 1; Spokane 1, Kootenay 0; Edmonton 6, Red Deer 1; Victoria 5, Prince George 1; Kelowna 5, Vancouver 3 and Everett 2, Seattle 1.

At Kennewick, Wash., Peters opened the scoring at 14:31 of the first period and Vorobev made it 2-0 Portland before the opening period was through.

Rankin put Tri-City on the board 1:56 into the second period, however Leier restored the Winterhawks' two-goal lead only 10 seconds later and Bjorkstrand made it 4-1 at 13:27.

Feser scored in the final minute of the second period and then again at 16:48 of the third, but that was as close as the Americans came to making a comeback.

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Raiders 5 Blades 4

At Prince Albert, Sask., Anthony Bardaro scored the winning goal and set up three more and Dakota Conroy had a goal and two assists as the Raiders (23-11-3) slipped past Saskatoon (19-16-1).

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Broncos 6 Tigers 4

At Swift Current, Sask., The line combination of Coda Gordon, Adam Lowry and Colby Cave accounted for five goals and 12 points as the Broncos (17-17-5) won their third straight game by beating Medicine Hat (15-19-2).

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Warriors 4 Wheat Kings 3

At Brandon, Tanner Eberle scored once and set up two more and Daniel Wapple made 36 saves as Moose Jaw (13-15-7) downed the Wheat Kings (11-19-4).

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Hurricanes 2 Hitmen 1

At Calgary, Ty Rimmer made 36 saves and Sam Mckechnie scored the game-winning goal in the second period as Lethbridge (18-16-5) held on to beat the Hitmen (23-9-4).

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Chiefs 1 Ice 0

At Cranbrook, B.C., Eric Williams stopped all 29 shots he faced and Todd Fiddler scored the only goal of the game as Spokane (24-10-1) blanked Kootenay (10-24-1), which is winless in its last four outings.

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Oil Kings 6 Rebels 1

At Red Deer, Alta., T.J. Foster had a goal and two assists and Stephane Legault scored twice as Edmonton (24-8-5) crushed the Rebels (22-14-3), who lost for the first time in three outings.

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Royals 5 Cougars 1

At Victoria, Ben Walker scored twice and set up one more while Jamie Crooks had a goal and two assists as the Royals (17-14-2) downed Prince George (12-18-4), which lost for the first time in three games.

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Rockets 5 Giants 3

At Vancouver, Dylen McKinlay scored twice while Colten Martin scored the winner in the third period and added two assists as Kelowna (25-10-2) beat the Giants (9-26-0) for its 13th win in its last 15 games.

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Silvertips 2 Thunderbirds 1

At Kent, Wash., Austin Lotz stopped 38-of-39 shots and Kohl Bauml scored the winning goal at 10:53 of the third period as Everett (14-22-2) handed Seattle (16-18-2) its sixth loss in a row.

Portland Winter Hawks (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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