Brendan Leipsic had a goal and three assists to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Giants at the Moda Center on Monday night. Cain Franson and Dalton Sward had the Vancouver goals while Payton Lee stopped 38 of 42 shots in the loss.
Franson opened the scoring for the Giants at 7:15 of the opening frame when he knocked the rebound of a Carter Popoff shot past Portland goalie Corbin Boes. The Winterhawks equalized a few minutes later on a pretty passing play as Brendan Leipsic fed Derrick Pouliot in the slot with a no-look behind-the-back pass, and Pouliot buried a shot from the slot. The Giants got into penalty trouble late in the stanza, and the Portland club capitalized as Mathew Dumba tallied his first of the year on a five-on-three man advantage with a hard slap shot from the point.
The two teams traded odd man rushes early in the middle frame. Travis McEvoy was stopped on a two-on-one with Tim Traber while at the other end of the ice, Lee made an important stop on Taylor Leier to keep the G-Men within a goal. Ty Ronning nearly tied the game later in the stanza when Dalton Thrower sprung him in on net with a stretch pass, but Boes kept the puck out, and the Giants went to the dressing room behind by one.
Paul Bittner put the Winterhawks ahead 3-1 early in the third with a shot from the right circle. Leipsic provided the screen in front, and the puck snuck through Lee and into the back of the net. Vancouver countered on a power play to pull back to within one as Sward shovelled the puck across the goal line after Popoff threw it to the net from the left boards, but Nic Petan would restore the two goal lead for Portland with a hard net drive out of the right corner, and Leipsic added an empty netter with less than two minutes remaining.
The Giants will now return to the Pacific Coliseum for a four-game home stand that starts on Wednesday against the Medicine Hat Tigers. The puck drop is set for 7:00pm. For tickets, call 604-4-GIANTS or visit vancouvergiants.com.
1. Brendan Leipsic - Portland
2. Corbin Boes - Portland
3. Derrick Pouliot - Portland