Tri-City Americans

Ams lose ground in division race

PORTLAND -- The Tri-City Americans' rise to second place in the U.S. Division standings was short-lived after suffering an 8-2 loss to division leader Portland on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.

After a key 5-2 victory Friday over Spokane, the Americans fell behind early Saturday and were never in the game as Portland took a 4-1 lead after the first and 7-2 after the second.

It was the worst loss of the season for Tri-City (33-13-2-1, 69 points), whose four-game winning streak ended.

The Winterhawks (36-15-0-3, 75 points), who had eight different goal scorers, won their third in a row and hold a five-point lead over the Chiefs, who beat Seattle 5-1 on Saturday.

Tayler Jordan, Sven Bartschi and Joe Morrow scored in the first 10:52 of the game to give Portland a 3-0 lead.

Justin Feser connected on the power play at 12:59 to pull Tri-City within two goals, but Ty Rattie extended the Winterhawks' lead back to three with 4:45 to play in the first.

Portland opened the second with short-handed goal by Craig Cunningham and the rout was on.

Jordan Messier had a goal and Patrick Holland two assists for the Americans, who played without defenseman Matt MacKenzie (illness) and forward Connor Rankin (injury).

Tri-City's Brendan Shinnimin was held off the score sheet for the first time in 21 games, while Adam Hughesman's 12-game point streak ended.

Drew Owsley, who had an assist on Feser's goal, finished with 26 saves in 35 minutes of work. Rookie Chris Drieger finished the game, stopping 20 of 21 shots.

The Americans will play at Portland on Friday and at Spokane next Saturday for the third consecutive weekend of games against the top two teams in the division.