Portland, OR- It was truly a David vs. Goliath battle as Tri-City faced the CHL’s top ranked Portland Winterhawks.
David took down Goliath with an exclamation point, as the Tri-City Americans (32-22-1-2, 67 pts) snap a three game losing streak, scoring six straight goals to earn a 6-2 win over the Portland Winterhawks (46-9-1-2, 95 pts) in Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
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Troy Trombley made his first start of the season and was spectacular, making 41 saves against the top offense in the league while earning his first WHL win.
This was the second win for the Americans against the Winterhawks, with the other victory also coming on the road. Portland had a three game win streak halted.
Portland controlled the pace to start the game and got on the board first. Oliver Bjorkstrand tipped a pass into the goal to give the Winterhawks a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Tri-City jumped on the board later in the period. Jesse Mychan grabbed a loose puck in front of the net and fired a shot past Mac Carruth to tie the game at one. The Winterhawks dominated in the shot department 23-8, but the game was tied after the first period.
Tri-City carried momentum into the second period and used it to take the lead. Zachary Yuen fired a laser from the blue line through traffic into the top left corner of the net to tally a power play goal and give the Americans a 2-1 lead. Malte Strömwall had a golden opportunity to score as he earned a penalty shot midway through the second, but was denied by Carruth. Connor Rankin scored late in the period as he fired a backhand that found its way into the goal to make it 3-1. Tri-City outshot Portland 11-9 in the period and looked to close out the win in the third.
The Americans were on the penalty kill to start the third period, but that didn’t stop Justin Feser from scoring shorthanded on a breakaway, beating Carruth on the glove side. It wasn’t long until the Americans increased the lead to 5-1, as Brian Williams gathered a rebound and put it home five minutes into the period. Mitch Topping got in on the action, as he found the back of the net on the power play midway through the third to make it 6-1. Portland would add a goal by Chase De Leo with less than three minutes remaining, but it wouldn’t matter in the outcome as Tri-City left Portland with a win.
Tri-City was 2-3 on the power play and killed off all five Portland power plays. Seven Tri-City players got on the score sheet, including five with more than one point.
The Americans come home tomorrow for a big showdown against the Spokane Chiefs (34-22-2-0, 70 pts) in the Toyota Center. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. Spokane won the most recent game in Spokane 5-2 on Feb. 9, giving the Chiefs a 5-4 lead in the season series. Tri-City is 2-2 at home against Spokane, winning the most recent game on New Year’s Eve 6-3. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game starting at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show. MeTV 42.2/Charter 280 will broadcast the game on television beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the Toyota Center Box Office, at any Fred Meyer outlet, at any Ticketmaster location or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Troy Trombley, Tri-City
2. Justin Feser, Tri-City
3. Zachary Yuen, Tri-City