PORTLAND A little road trip was all the Tri-City Americans needed to get back on track.
After dropping their first two games at home, Brian Williams scored three goals as the Americans thumped the defending WHL champion Portland Winterhawks 6-2 on Tuesday at the Moda Center.
They played really well, Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said of his team. We have won a few games here the last couple of years. Not only that, but we generated 40 shots and thats a positive right there.
The Americans continue their three-game road trip Friday with a game against Seattle, and Saturday at Spokane.
Tri-City (1-2-0-0, 2 points) took a 4-1 lead after the first period as Williams scored twice, and Phil Tot and Lucas Nickles also added goals.
In the second, Connor Rankin scored his first of the season, gathering a rebound off a Mitch Topping shot and beating Brendan Burke blocker side at 16:25 on the power play.
Williams finished his hat trick at 18:56 of the second on the power play with an assist from Marcus Messier. Williams shot went off a stick, rang off the cross bar and ended up in the net.
(Williams) played really well, Hiller said. Hes been really good since the first day of training camp. Its important not to get frustrated and get the zeroes out of the columns.
The Winterhawks (1-1-0-1, 3 points), who were 0-for-7 on the power play, missed out on a golden chance at 3:42 of third, picking up a 5-on-3 power play. Portland failed to get as much as a shot on goal.
Our penalty killers played well and blocked a ton of shots, Hiller said.
Alex Schoenborn scored for Portland with 1:12 remaining, but the game already was out of reach.
Eric Comrie was solid in net, picking up his first win with 30 saves.
He had some tough saves that he made look pretty routine, Hiller said.
Burke finished with 26 saves in taking the loss for Portland. Jarrod Schamerhorn made his WHL debut in the third, stopping all eight shots he faced.