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Portland pulls away in third period, Simon Knak scores two goals in 6-2 win over visiting Americans.

COURTESY PHOTO:MEGAN CONNELLY/PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS - Simon Knak carries the puck up the ice on Friday, April 2, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Knak scored two goals in the Winterhawks' 6-2 win over the Tri-City Americans.Simon Knak scored two goals and Seth Jarvis and Nick Cicek had three-point nights Friday as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Tri-City Americans 6-2 in Western Hockey League play at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Portland scored the last five goals of the game. The Winterhawks are 4-1-2-0 (10 points), second in the U.S. Division. The Americans are 2-4-0-0 (four points).

Knak's league-leading third shorthanded goal of the season tied the game 1-1 late in the first period.

"I think those shorthanded goals, they just give your team a boost and we needed it tonight. That was a big goal," Winterhawks VP/GM/coach Mike Johnston said.

Sasha Mutala's second goal of the night put Tri-City ahead 2-1 19 seconds into the second period, but the rest of the scoring was Portland's.

Jaydon Dureau's first goal of the season on a power play tied it at 2-2 15:22 into the second period and Knak's power-play goal from in tight 1:08 later made it 3-2.

Midway through the third period, Jarvis took advantage of a giveaway for his third goal of the season, and moments later Kurtis Smyth scored his first WHL goal on a blast from the right point. An empty-net goal from captain Nick Cicek with 2:23 left finished the scoring. From behind his own net, Cicek rimmed the puck around the boards but it hit something near center ice and redirected into the net.

"I don't think it was our A game. I just felt our possession, our execution was a little bit sloppy tonight. We can be better," Johnston said.

The Wintershawks finished 2 for 7 on the power play and outshot the Americans 42-23. Dante Gianuzzi stopped 21 shots and improved to 2-1 this season in goal.

Portland continues to be without injured centers Tyson Kozak and Gabe Klassen.

Portland visits Everett on Saturday for a 6 p.m. game with the division-leading Silvertips.


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