Americans Fall to Winterhawks, 6-4 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Americans Fall to Winterhawks, 6-4

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by Tri-City Americans Media Relations

KENNEWICK, WA - The Tri-City Americans (27-31-0-3, 57 pts) came close this time, but still can't seem to figure out how to beat the Portland Winterhawks (36-20-1-3, 76 pts), as Portland earned a 6-4 win in front of 3,274 fans at the Toyota Center on Tuesday night.

The first period was fairly even, as both teams had 11 shots in the period. But Portland was the team that scored first, as Portland was able to slap home a loose puck, as Paul Bittner scored to put the Winterhawks up 1-0 after the first period.

Tri-City got some momentum going in the second, as Justin Gutierrez tipped a shot from the point into the net on the power play 2:30 into the second to even the score at one. Midway through the second, the Americans took the lead, as Jordan Topping fired a shot that deflected into the net for a 2-1 Tri-City advantage. Late in the period, Portland stormed back, as Keoni Texeira fired a shot into the goal to even the score at two. And 30 seconds later, Keegan Iverson banged home a loose puck in front of the net to give the Winterhawks the lead once again, 3-2, going into the third period.

In the third, the Americans were looking for a tying goal, and got it just more than six minutes into the period. Brian Williams made a nifty move and slipped a backhand shot into the goal to even the score at three. Portland answered less than a minute later, as Oliver Bjorkstrand scored to put the Winterhawks back on top. Tri-City wouldn't go away, as Beau McCue skated in on a breakaway shorthanded and scored to even the game at four. But Portland took the lead once again, as Miles Koules scored to put the Winterhawks up 5-4 with just more than five minutes left in the third. The Americans pressed to get a tying goal, but Bjorkstrand was able to score an empty net goal to seal the win for the Winterhawks.

Tri-City has lost all seven meetings against Portland this season. The Americans have lost a season-high four straight home games.

Portland spent 15 minutes in the penalty box and was unable to convert any of its three power play chances. Tri-City recorded 13 penalty minutes and was able to score on 2-of-4 power play chances.

Nicholas Sanders stopped 41 shots in his first career WHL start, while Adin Hill stopped 24 shots in the win. 

Tri-City has a couple days to rest before the Americans face the rival Spokane Chiefs (27-27-3-1, 58 pts) this Friday, Feb. 27, at the Toyota Center. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. The Americans earned a win in the last meeting, 2-0, on Jan. 24 in Spokane.

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