Kamloops quiets Winterhawks
After six days off, the Portland Winterhawks started well enough on Wednesday against the Kamloops Blazers.
But the last two periods were a different story as Kamloops beat Portland 3-1 in Western Hockey League action at Moda Center.
Jermaine Loewen scored twice in the second period for the Blazers.
The Winterhawks remain second in the U.S. Division at 35-20-1-3 for 74 points, but are now only three points up on third-place Spokane. Everett, which has played two more games than Portland, is nine points clear of Portland atop the division.
This was the second consecutive loss for Portland after a five-game win streak. Kamloops is 27-29-1-4 for 59 points, six points behind Seattle for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Cody Glass put Portland ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal seven minutes into the first period. Glass' attempted a pass to Kieffer Bellows that deflected off a Kamloops stick and into the net.
The play started with Skyler McKenzie winning a faceoff back to Dennis Cholowski at the left point. Cholowski sent the puck back to McKenzie, who sent a pass across the ice to Glass. The assist was the 200th career point for McKenzie.
Kamloops scored three times in the second period, twice on power plays.
The go-ahead goal with 59 seconds left in the second period was scored by Nick Chyzowski on a controversial power play. Chyzowski scored after a Joe Gatenby shot missed wide and bounced off the end boards to the open Chyzowski.
The Blazers' lead was doubled when Loewen deflected a shot from the point past Cole Kehler with 12 seconds left in the period.
The penalty that led to the second Blazers' goal was assessed to Kieffer Bellows following a scrum that resulted after Cody Glass was tackled to the ice behind the goal by Montana Onyebuchi. The Winterhawks were unhappy that no penalty was called on Onyebuchi.
The Blazers first goal also came on the power play, with a wrister from Loewen deflecting past Cole Kehler to tie the score 1-1 at 4:28 of the second period.
Portland was unable to convert on two third-period power plays as Kamloops was strong defensively and goalie Dylan Ferguson stopped all 14 shots he faced in the final frame. Ferguson finished with 30 saves, perhaps the biggest of them denying Alex Overhardt with the score tied in the second period.
Kehler took the loss, allowing three goals on 22 shots. Shane Farkas came on for the third period and stopped the four shots he saw.
The Winterhawks play seven of their next eight games on the road, visiting Victoria for games on Friday and Saturday. Of their 13 remaining regular-season games, five are at home and eight on the road.