Winterhawks' loss matches most lopsided of season
The Portland Winterhawks suffered their most lopsided loss Friday since the club's opening game of the season. The Tri-City Americans beat them 6-2 before a crowd counted at 8,029 at Memorial Coliseum.
The Hawks lost 6-2 to Seattle at the Rose Garden to begin the season on Sept. 22.
Portland (46-9-1-2) still leads the Western Hockey League with 95 points, seven better than the next-best team in the WHL Western Conference, the Kelowna Rockets.
Portland has 14 games before the playoff; Kelowna 12.
Eastern Conference leader Edmonton has 87 points with 14 regular-season games remaining.
The Winterhawks return to the coliseum ice at 3 p.m. Saturday to face the Vancouver Giants, who are last in the West and in the league (15-43-0-0, 30 points) but won 3-2 in overtime Friday at Seattle.
The Hawks outshot the Ams 43-32, thanks to their 23-8 edge in the first period. But after 20 minutes, the teams were tied 1-1, and Tri-City scored twice unanswered in the second period.
The Americans made the score 4-1 after 36 seconds of the third period on a short-handed goal, then added scores at 5:01 and 10:05.
Portland's goals were the first and last of the game. Oliver Bjorkstrand gave the Winterhawks their only lead 8:56 into the game. It was his 23rd goal of the season. Chase De Leo got his 13th goal of the season at the 17:13 mark of the third period.
Taylor Leier had two assists.
Tri-City tied the score at 1-1 on a penalty shot at 14:07 of the opening frame.
Portland's top line of Brendan Leipsic, Nic Petan and Ty Rattie went scoreless, and top goalie Mac Carruth gave up five goals before giving way to Brendan Burke for the final 14:59.
Tri-City, the No. 6 team in the WHL West, improved to 32-22-1-2 (67 points).
Portland leads the Ams series 6-2 this season.