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Newkirk hat trick paces Winterhawks to commanding win over Warriors

League-leading Portland scores five in second on way to 11-2 victory
Sometimes in the Western Hockey League, things play out pretty much exactly as the standings say they should.

Case in point, the contest between the WHL-leading Portland Winterhawks and the team with the second-worst record in the league, the Moose Jaw Warriors, on Sunday night.

The Warriors took the ice for the third game of their U.S. Division road swing and didn’t have the kind of outing they were hoping for, dropping an 11-2 decision.

The news wasn’t all bad for Moose Jaw, though, courtesy of Reece Newkirk.

The Moose Jaw Minor Hockey product scored the last two goals of the first period and the first marker of the second, giving him a natural hat trick. The New York Islanders draft pick now has 28 goals and 62 points on the season to sit 14th in league scoring.

Nick Cicek and Warriors captain Owen Hardy exchanged goals in the first period before Newkirk picked up his first and second of the game, giving Portland a 3-1 lead out of the opening frame.

It was all Portland from there, as Cross Hanas, Seth Jarvis, Jonas Brondberg and Tyson Kozak had the Winterhawks second-period goals, followed by Mason Mannek with a pair in the third sandwiching a marker from Kishaun Gervais.

Martin Lang scored the Warriors’ final goal with 1:29 remaining in the game.

Brock Gould went the distance in goal, stopped 46 of the 57 shots he faced. The Warriors had 18 on Portland’s Dante Giannuzzi.

The Warriors fell to 12-36-4-0, are winless in their last 10 (0-8-2-0) and sit four points up on last-place Swift Current.

Portland improved to 38-8-3-4 and lead the WHL by four points over the Eastern Conference-leading Edmonton Oil Kings.

The Warriors are back in action Tuesday when they continue their road swing in Seattle against the Thunderbirds.

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