The Portland Winterhawks were unable to score at even strength and couldn't keep up with the Victoria Royals on Wednesday night at Memorial Coliseum.
Victoria won, 4-2.
It was the first of four regular-season meetings between the teams, and the Royals improved to 8-2-1-0 with a 52-33 edge in goals against Western Hockey League U.S. Division teams.
The Hawks, coming off a shootout loss to Everett, went 2 for 3 on the power play and were even with the Royals until the final 8 1/2 minutes.
Portland fell to 26-14-1-3 (56 points) in the U.S. Division.
Victoria climbed to 26-16-3-1 (56 points), good for a second-place tie with Vancouver and three points behind Kelowna in the B.C. Division.
Victoria entered with the second-most goals in the WHL (5.2 per game) and showed that explosiveness at times.
Portland's Skyler McKenzie scored his 14th goal in his past 13 games, and the 34th of his season, to tie the score at 1-1 at 9:09 of the first period. The power-play goal came 41 seconds after Victoria had taken the lead with a shorthanded strike by Tyler Soy (his 20th of the season). Assists went to Henri Jokiharju and one of the new Portand players, fellow defenseman Dennis Cholowski.
The Royals got in front at 15:06 of the second period, when Matthew Smith notched his third goal of the season.
Jokiharju and Cholowski assisted again as the Hawks tied the score in the third period, with Cody Glass' 25th goal of the season at 7:21 and on a power play.
The Hawks gave that right back after a turnover, with Tanner Kaspick getting his 14th goal of 2017-18 at 11:14.
Then Matthew Phillips scored (his 31st) at 12:02 for a 4-2 lead.
Portland's Cole Kehler went the distance and made 29 saves.
Griffen Outhouse, a 19-year-old who has been dealing with an upper-body injury, made 28 stops for Victoria.
The Winterhawks get one day off before beginning a three-game weekend at the coliseum against Swift Current (7 p.m. Friday).
Portland will play at Vancouver on Saturday, then be host to Brandon at 5 p.m. Sunday at the coliseum.