Playing their third game in three nights, the Portland Winterhawks mounted a furious comeback to nearly erase a five-goal deficit before falling 6-5 in a road game against the Tri-City Americans Sunday.
Down 5-0 early in the second period, the Winterhawks fought back with five goals in a span of 20 minutes from early in the second to early in the third periods, but with the Americans’ having added one of their own in that time, Portland couldn’t get the equalizer and suffered their first loss of the season.
The Winterhawks outshot the Americans 37-23 in the game, including a decisive 13-3 edge in the third period as they fought furiously to tie the game.
Tri-Cities opened the scoring 2:22 into the game on a goal by Brian Williams, and scored again late in the period with a goal from Mason Wilgosh to make it 2-0 going into the second.
The Americans then got three goals from Connor Rankin through the first 2:25 of the second period to take a 5-0 lead. After the fourth goal, starting goaltender Brendan Burke was replaced by Mac Carruth.
From there the Winterhawks struck twice in quick succession, as Taylor Peters scored a shorthanded goal followed 1:28 later by a goal from Brad Ross to cut the deficit to 5-2. Mackenzie Royer then scored for the Americans to take a 6-2 lead, but Ty Rattie came right back for Portland, scoring a power play goal for his third goal in two games to make it 6-3. Rattie then struck again with just two seconds remaining in the period with another power play marker, bringing Portland to within two, 6-4, going into the third period.
The Winterhawks then cut the deficit to just one when Peters scored his second of the game 1:29 into the third, cutting Tri-Cities’ lead to just 6-5, but that would be as close as they would get.
Rattie added an assist along with his two goals for three points, giving him six points in two games since being returned by the St. Louis Blues. Peters, Ross, Chase De Leo and Derrick Pouliot all finished with two points.
The Winterhawks were 2-4 on the power play, and 2-3 on the penalty kill.
The Winterhawks are back in action next Friday when they take on the Americans at home at the Rose Garden at 7 p.m., followed by the annual Dash For Cash game next Saturday against Seattle, also at the Rose Garden at 7 p.m.