(ISN) – Kennewick, WA- After falling into a three-goal deficit, the Tri-City Americans (15-12-0-0, 30 pts) were unable to complete a comeback, falling 3-2 to the Portland Winterhawks (14-12-0-3, 31 pts) in front of 4,035 fans at the Toyota Center on Saturday night.
It took only nine seconds for Portland to jump out to a 1-0 lead, as Nic Petan fired a saucer pass to Paul Bittner, one-timing a shot into the net for an early lead. Tri-City picked up some momentum throughout the first period, but Portland had the shot advantage, 17-6, and held the lead going into the second period.
Tri-City tried to get something going early in the second, but Portland was the team that got on the board early in the second. Nic Petan spun to create space in the Americans zone and fired a pass to Oliver Bjorkstrand on the back door, putting home a shot to make it 2-0 Winterhawks. Portland added another goal a few minutes later, as Miles Koules tipped a shot into the net to make it 3-0 Winterhawks. The Americans fought to get back into the game, and Tri-City got on the board late in the second period, as Ty Comrie received a pass all alone in front of the net and buried a shot to cut the lead to 3-1. The Americans outshot the Winterhawks, 16-9, in the second but had some work to do in the third.
The work began early in the third period as the Americans got a goal less than two minutes into the third. Brian Williams fired in a loose puck at the side of the net to cut the lead to one goal and swing the momentum on the Americans side. Tri-City had some good chances to get the game-tying goal, but came up just short as the Winterhawks held on for the win.
With the loss, the Americans drop to fourth place in the U.S. Division, one point behind Portland and Spokane.
Tri-City finishes the month of November with a 7-5 record, and lost three of the recent four game home stand.
Tri-City only spent four minutes in the penalty box and were unable to capitalize on four power play opportunities. Portland had no chances with a man advantage and had 12 penalty minutes.
Eric Comrie was solid in net, stopping 39 shots in the loss. Portland goaltender Brendan Burke made 28 saves in the win.
The Americans have some time off before they are back in action, traveling through the Cascade Mountains to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds (10-12-2-2, 24 pts) at the ShoWare Center. Game time is at 7:35 p.m. Tri-City has won the lone meeting between the two teams this season, winning 3-1 on Sept. 26 at the Toyota Center. Listen to the game on NewsTalk 870 starting at 7:15 p.m. or watch the game on WHL Live or at Kimo’s, your Americans home away from home.
Jack in the Box Three Stars
1. Oliver Bjorkstrand, Portland
2. Nic Petan, Portland
3. Ty Comrie, Tri-City