(ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks (36-20-1-3) extended their winning streak to five games with a 6-4 victory in Kennewick, WA Tuesday over the Tri-City Americans (27-31-0-3).
The Hawks opened the scoring 16:45 into the game when Paul Bittner banged one in on the doorstep for a 1-0 lead Portland took into the second.
Tri-Cities evened the game 2:30 into the second when Justin Gutierrez scored on a power play, then took a 2-1 lead at 8:25 on a goal from Jordan Topping.
Late in the period the Hawks regained the lead with a pair of goals just 29 seconds apart. Keoni Texeira tied the game when his shot from the point got through traffic and beat Americans netminder Nicholas Sanders at the 17:15 mark. On the next shift, the Hawks went strong to the net and pounded away until Keegan Iverson poked it past Sanders for a 3-2 lead Portland took into the third. It was Iverson’s fourth straight game with a goal.
Tri-Cities tied it 6:38 into the third when Brian Williams scored on a power play to make it 3-3. It would be a short-lived tie though, as just 1:11 later Oliver Bjorkstrand used a Tri-Cities defenseman as a screen and wired a shot past Sanders for a 4-3 lead. It also extended Bjorkstrand’s goal-scoring streak to nine games.
Once again though the game would get knotted up, as the Americans’ Beau McCue scored shorthanded at 10:09 to even it at 4-4, the fourth tie of the night. The Winterhawks kept applying pressure, and took another lead at the 14:32 mark when Miles Koules drove around a defenseman and beat Sanders for a 5-4 lead.
With under a minute to go and Sanders on the bench for an extra attacker, Bjorkstrand got behind the defense and scored into the empty net to seal the 6-4 win.
Nic Petan had four assists for the Hawks in the win, his second straight four-assist game. Bjorkstrand, Weinger and Chase De Leo each added two points in the victory.
Adin Hill earned the win in net, making 24 saves on 28 shots. Sanders, making his first career start, faced 46 Portland shots and made 41 saves, with the Hawks adding an empty net goal.
The Hawks are back in action tomorrow when they host the Calgary Hitmen at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.