PORTLAND — Parker Bowles scored on a breakaway with 26.6 seconds remaining to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 3-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks on Wednesday night at the Moda Center.
The Americans (11-8-0-2, 24 points), who got 24 saves from rookie Evan Sarthou, have points in seven consecutive games.
The Winterhawks (14-4-0-1, 29 points), who were ranked No. 3 in this week’s CHL poll, had won 11 games in a row. Portland has just two regulation losses at home — both to Tri-City.
“It was a really good game for us start to finish,” said Americans coach Jim Hiller. “This is a tough building to play in. It’s nice to beat them any time, but you have to play well to do that and we did.”
Bowles’ goal came at the end of a long shift. Brian Williams was able to send the puck out of the zone and Bowles headed up ice all alone, and beating Brendan Burke for his third goal of the season.
“He makes a difference,” Hiller said of Bowles, who missed the first 17 games of the season. “He gives us offensive fire power.”
The Americans trailed 2-0 midway through the second period but rallied to tie the score for a 2-2 game after 40 minutes.
Connor Rankin put Tri-City on the board at 13:50, skipping the puck off Burke’s left pad and into the net. It was the first goal for Rankin since Oct. 12 against Seattle — a span of 10 games.
Rankin set up Williams on the goal that would tie the score with 1.2 seconds remaining in the second period.
Working behind the net, Rankin fed Williams out front, and Williams beat Burke high on the blocker side. It was his team-leading 14th goal of the season.
Taylor Leier opened the scoring for Portland, kissing the puck off the pipe and into the net at 13:27 of the first. Oliver Bjorkstrand assisted on the goal to run his point streak to 13 consecutive games.
Adam Rossignol looked to give Portland a 2-0 lead with less than a minute to play in the first, but Sarthou made an outstanding glove save on the short-handed chance.
“He played very well,” Hiller said of Sarthou. “It was a special night for him. He should feel pretty good.”
Chase De Leo gave the Winterhawks a 2-0 lead at 12:18 of the second, beating Sarthou glove side.
The Americans outshot the Winterhawks 30-26. Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play.