Kennewick, WA- After tying the game mid-way through the first period, the Tri-City Americans (5-8-0-1 11 pts.) allowed seven consecutive goals as the Portland Winterhawks (7-3-0-1 15 pts.) defeated the Americans 8-1 Saturday night at the Toyota Center.
It was the first loss the Americans had suffered at home since opening weekend, snapping a three-game winning streak in Kennewick.
The Winterhawks opened the scoring at 2:22 of the first period, when Anton Cederholm’s original shot got caught in Eric Comrie’s equipment, the puck came free in the Tri-City crease where Chase De Leo was there to capitalize.
The Winterhawks kept the momentum through the first half of the period, but a Jessey Astles’ goal at the 10:43 mark tied the game and swung momentum Tri-City’s way for the remainder of the first period.
Portland jumped all over the Americans in the second period, however, striking three times in the first two minutes and five seconds. Keegan Iverson got things started, blocking a Tri-City shot at the blue line and skating in on a partial 2-on-1 ,where he snapped a hard wrist shot past Comrie’s blocker. Taylor Leier and De Leo then scored goals 14 seconds apart to stretch the Winterhawks lead to three goals.
Nic Petan added one more goal for the Winterhawks in the second period, scoring at the 17:06 mark, giving Portland a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The Americans held the Winterhawks scoring in check early in the third period, but a Paul Bittner goal at 11:55 got Portland’s offense going again.
Oliver Bjorkstrand’s power play goal, followed by a Preston Kopeck score 30 seconds later, capped off the Portland scoring in the third period, as it coasted for an 8-1 victory.
Comrie made 22 saves in the first two periods before being relieved by Evan Sarthou for the final 20 minutes. The rookie goaltender made 10 saves in his Toyota Center debut. For the second consecutive meeting, Brendan Burke held Tri-City to just one goal with a 23 save effort.
Tri-City will be back in action at the Toyota Center on Tuesday night, when the Swift Current Broncos (6-6-0-1 13 pts.) make its first and only trip to Kennewick this season. The Americans will then close out its home stand with games against Seattle and Brandon next weekend.
Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Chase De Leo, Portland
2) Taylor Leier, Portland
3) Nic Petan, Portland