Winterhawks finally top Americans
Joachim Blichfeld scored two third-period goals to lift the Portland Winterhawks to a 4-2 win over the Tri-City Americans in Western Hockey League play as 2,911 fans watched at Memorial Coliseum.
Blichfeld broke a tie midway through the period and provided an insurance goal as the Winterhawks beat the Americans for the first time this season and improved to 28-13-3-2 (61 points). Tri-City is 24-17-2-1 (51).
Portland trails U.S. Division leader Everett by seven points. Tri-City is fourth in the division.
Tri-City won the first five meetings this season against the Hawks, one in a shootout, three in overtime, and had a one-goal win in Portland on Sunday.
Blichfeld's 42 goals continue to lead the WHL, and the 20-year-old San Jose Sharks prospect from Denmark had an assist in Wednesday's game. He has 86 points this season and has reached 200 regular-season points in three seasons with the Winterhawks.
Both of his goals on Wednesday came off the rush. On the go-ahead goal, Cody Glass skated up the right-wing boards and centered the puck to Blichfeld, who was able to wait for the puck to get in front of him and then lifted it over the shoulder of goalie Beck Warm with 10:07 left.
The insurance goal came after Glass poked the puck to Blichfeld in the neutral zone. Blichfeld skated into the left-wing circle and beat Warm with a wrister to make the score 4-2 with 3:42 remaining.
Jaydon Dureau and Josh Paterson also scored for Portland, which shook off an early 2-0 deficit and outshot Tri-City 46-28, including 36-18 after the shots were even at 10-10 late in the first period.
Joel Hofer finished with 26 saves in goal for Portland. Tri-City's Warm played a strong game and made 41 stops.
The Winterhawks were 0 for 5 on the power play. The Americans were 0 for 1.
Tri-City scored twice 40 seconds apart to take its early lead.
Krystof Hrabik scored from in close off a backhand feed from behind the net that set him up in front.
Kyle Olson scored the second goal at 7:43 of the first. He won the puck at his defensive blue line and skated in alone.
Portland answered late in the period with goals 37 seconds apart from Dureau and Paterson.
Dureau put home a rebound after Seth Jarvis found a loose puck. That got the Hawks on the board with 1:02 left in the opening period.
Paterson tied the score 37 seconds later as he found a rebound after Warm stopped a Blichfeld shot.
The Winterhawks remain at home for a 6 p.m. Saturday game against Seattle and 5 p.m. Sunday game against Lethbridge. Both games will be at the coliseum.