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WHL: Fiddler's hat trick helps Chiefs defeat Winterhawks

Associated Press

1/22/2013 12:16:07 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Todd Fiddler had a hat trick and Mike Aviani added two goals as the Spokane Chiefs picked up a 5-2 win over the league-leading Portland Winterhawks on Monday afternoon in the Western Hockey League.

Fiddler now leads the WHL with 33 goals on the season, which is two more than Portland's Nicolas Petan and Swift Current's Adam Lowry.

Spokane (29-16-2) won for the first time in four tries this season against the slumping Winterhawks, who have dropped three straight following a 14-game winning streak.

Ty Rattie and Presten Kopeck scored for Portland (37-7-2), which still leads the U.S. Division by 16 points over the second-place Chiefs.

Rattie put Portland ahead just 3:12 into the game, but the Chiefs rallied with goals by Fiddler and Aviani to lead 2-1 after one period.

Fiddler's short-handed goal put Spokane up 3-1 in the second period, but Kopeck answered with a short-handed goal of his own to bring the Winterhawks back within one through 40 minutes.

Aviani's goal with 8:55 remaining in regulation gave the Chiefs breathing room again, and Fiddler sealed the win with an empty-netter in the final minute.

Eric Williams made 33 saves to earn the win in net for Spokane, while Portland's Mac Carruth stopped 34 shots in just his third regulation loss in 24 decisions this season.

Neither team scored on the power play, with Spokane going 0 for 5 and Portland 0 for 4.

Monday's matchup was the first of three straight between the two teams, with games upcoming on Wednesday and Friday in Spokane, Wash.