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Tri-City continues Winterhawks' woes

TRI-CITY AMERICANS 5, Portland Winterhawks 1

Friday night, Toyota Center, Kennewick, Wash., 4,209 announced attendance

HIGHLIGHTS

The Winterhawks sure seem to miss Nic Petan, Taylor Leier, Derrick Pouliot and Brendan Leipsic. Minus those players — the first three at the world junior championship, the latter on WHL suspension — Portland continued to struggle at both ends of the ice on Friday.

Tri-City scored the game's first five goals — one in the first period, two in the second, two in the first 6:20 of the third period — to snap its seven-game losing streak and return to .500.

WHAT IT MEANS

• At least Portland didn't lose ground against its main competitors in the Western Hockey League Western Conference. B.C. Division leader (and WHL points leader) Kelowna had its 16-game win streak end at Vancouver 4-2. And, in the U.S. Division, Seattle went down to defeat 5-1 at Red Deer.

TOP PERFORMERS

• Portland's goal came at 12:06 of the third period. Chase De Leo scored for the 25th time this season, with assists to Shaun McPherson and Josh Hanson.

NOTES

• Tri-City is 3-3-1-0 against Portland this season, with three games left in their series.

• Portland hasn't been shut out in its last 198 games, since 2011.

KEY STAT

• Kelowna held Portland scoreless on three power plays.

WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE

STANDINGS

Kelowna 32-4-0-2 (66) (B.C. Division leader)

Portland 25-11-2-2 (54) (U.S. Division leader)

Victoria 27-14-0-2 (56)

Everett 23-12-4-1 (51)

Spokane 24-13-0-2 (50)

Seattle 22-12-2-3 (49)

Vancouver 20-14-5-2 (47)

Tri-City 18-18-2-2 (40)

Prince George 15-21-2-3 (35)

Kamloops 10-26-2-2 (24)

NEXT

The Winterhawks return to Memorial Coliseum to face Victoria at 7 p.m. Saturday (KPAM 860 AM). The B.C. Division Royals are third in the WHL West with a 27-14-0-2 record (56 points, two ahead of Portland, which would have second spot in the playoffs by virtue of leading its division).