Americans rally past Winterhawks
The Tri-City Americans dominated the third period on Tuesday to beat the Portland Winterhawks for the sixth time in seven games this season.
Blanked for two periods, the Americans scored five goals in the final frame for a 5-3 Western Hockey League victory at Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington.
Jaydon Dureau, Josh Paterson and Jared Freadrich scored for Portland.
The Winterhawks are 32-15-3-2 (69 points), second in the U.S. Division. The Americans, barely above a .500 team against teams not from Portland, are 27-19-2-1 (57), fourth in the division.
The loss was the first for the Winterhawks this season in regulation play after leading at the end of two periods (23-1-1-1).
Portland's 2-0 lead was cut in half quickly on a goal 37 seconds into the third period that energized Tri-City and turned around the contest.
On a two-on-one rush, Parker AuCoin tried to send a pass across the crease that was blocked by a Portland defenseman but sat in the crease for AuCoin to knock under Joel Hofer.
From then on, the Americans were the faster team, won more puck battles and found space to create that had been denied them for the first 40 minutes.
Samuel Huo tied it at 2-2 8:06 into the third period by redirecting a point shot from Samuel Stewart.
The go-ahead goal came at 11:33 after AuCoin won a forecheck battle behind the net and found Nolan Yaremko, whose shot through traffic from the left-wing circle beat Hofer through traffic.
The backbreaker was a Connor Bouchard goal at 16:13, a back-door finish off a Sasha Mutala feed in the final seconds of an Americans power play.
Freadrich ripped a shot from the middle of the ice near the blue line to get Portland back within a goal with 2:48 remaining.
But Bouchard clinched it by finding the empty net with 1:20 left.
Portland, still without injured forward Cody Glass, continued to struggle on the power play, going 0 for 3 and giving up two shorthanded breakaways that Hofer denied.
Tri-City has killed 38 of the last 40 opponent power plays, and the Americans finished 2 for 6 on the power play.
Dureau scored his 11th goal of the season for Portland 6:42 into the first period. He put home a rebound after Hayden Delorme skated into the zone and took a shot that rebounded off goalie Beck Warm.
Paterson made the score 2-0 at 11:19 of the first. After a give-and-go with Joachim Blichfeld, Paterson made a quick forehand-backhand move in tight to deke Warm and score.
Hofer finished with 30 saves, including a couple of big stops to keep Portland in front early in the third period.
Tri-City's best two chances in the first two periods were the shorthanded breakaways that Hofer denied, one for AuCoin and one for Bouchard.
The Winterhawks are in Kent, Washington on Friday to face Seattle. Portland will visit Everett on Saturday before playing host to Medicine Hat at 5 p.m. Sunday at Moda Center.