The Portland Winterhawks (15-9-1-1) traveled to Kennewick, WA Wednesday and battled the Tri-City Americans (17-6-0-0) in a wild back and forth game that saw the Americans come away with a 7-6 victory.
The game featured five ties and five lead changes, and all but one goal came in the second and third periods.
The Winterhawks peppered Tri-Cities netminder Ty Rimmer with 22 shots in the first period, finally breaking through at the 18:19 mark when Sven Bartschi scored to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead going into the second.
That set up a wild second period in which the two teams combined for seven goals.
Bartschi struck again for his second of the game 20 seconds into the second with a shorthanded goal to give Portland a 2-0 lead. But 48 seconds later, on the same penalty, the Americans scored on the power play on a goal by Brendan Shinnimin to cut the deficit to 2-1. Later in the period, the Americans scored twice in a span of 28 seconds on goals by Connor Rankin and Justin Feser to go up 3-2 at the 6:54 mark.
But the Winterhawks bounced back minutes later with consecutive goals by Ty Rattie 3:07 apart, the latter on a power play, to regain the lead and go up 4-3 at the 11:10 mark of the second. The Americans would tie it once again 1:11 later when Jordan Messier scored a power play goal to make it 4-4, which would remain the score going into the third period, setting up another seesaw frame.
Adam Hughesman scored a power play goal for Tri-Cities 24 seconds into the third to give the home team a 5-4 lead. But the Hawks tied it at the 8:16 mark on a goal by Joe Morrow, then regained the lead just over three minutes later on the second goal of the season by Dillon Wagner to go ahead 6-5.
But late in the third Tri-Cities got goals 17 seconds apart from Malte Stromwall and Mitch Topping to go ahead 7-6, and fended off a late surge from the Hawks to escape with the victory.
Bartschi had two goals and two assists for the Hawks, already his third four-point game this season. Linemate Ty Rattie had three points, as did defenseman Troy Rutkowski.
The Hawks are back in action Friday in the Burgerville Daylight Classic, a 3 p.m. game against Spokane where the Veterans Memorial Coliseum’s curtains will be open, allowing the sunlight into the arena bowl.