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Tri-City's late flurry tops Winterhawks 7-6

KENNEWICK, Wash. - The Tri-City Americans scored two goals second seconds apart late in the third period to beat the Portland Winterhawks 7-6 in a showdown of division leaders.

It was a wild game, with five ties and five lead changes and most of the scoring after a first period that had just one goal, at 18"19 by Portland's Sven Bartschi.

Bartschi scored short-handed 20 seconds into the second period, but 48 seconds, on the same power play, the Americans cut the gap to 2-1. And then Tri-City scored two goals in a span of 28 seconds to lead 3-2 at 6:54.

Ty Rattie scored the next two goals, giving Portland a 4-3 lead midway through the second period. Tri-City forged a 4-4 tie on a power play before the end of the frame.

The Americans took a 5-4 after just 24 seconds of the third period. The Hawks tied it at 8:16 on Joe Morrow's goal, and Portland went on top 6-5 when Dillon Wagner scored about three minutes later.

Then came quick scores by Tri-City, at 17:24 and 17:41.

The Hawks fell to 15-9-1-1 while Tri-City went to 17-6-0-0. The Americans lead the Western Hockey League U.S. Division with 34 points in 23 games. The Hawks have 32 points in 26 games.

Portland plays twice at Memorial Coliseum this weekend, taking on Spokane at 3 p.m. Friday and Swift Current at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Spokane is third in the U.S. Division with 25 points in 19 games and an 11-5-1-2 record.