The Portland Winterhawks (46-16-3-1) fired 51 shots on net at the visiting Tri-City Americans (46-17-1-2) Sunday, but fell 4-3 at the Rose Garden in front of 10,224 fans.
With 96 points, the Hawks remain one point ahead of the Americans for top spot in the U.S. Division and best record in the WHL.
Sven Bartschi had two goals for Portland Sunday, giving him six goals over the last two games.
The Americans opened the scoring at the 7:17 mark of the first period with a power play goal from Brendan Shinnimin. The Hawks evened it up just over two minutes later on a power play of their own when some spectacular passing around the net ended with Bartschi firing a shot past Americans netminder Ty Rimmer to make it 1-1. Tri-Cities took a 2-1 lead at the 14:25 mark on a power play goal from Connor Rankin, a score that would last through the period.
Tri-Cities made it 3-1 with a power play goal from Adam Hughesman at the 3:42 mark of the second, but the Hawks got back within one at the 9:43 mark when Brad Ross scored on a 5-on-3 power play to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Hawks evened the game at the 2:20 mark of the third when Bartschi fired a blast over Rimmer’s shoulder for his second of the game to tie it at 3-3. But with just under a minute to go, the Americans got the winner from Justin Feser to come away with the victory.
Portland had a 51-22 advantage on shots on goal in the game, including 39-15 over the final two periods.
The Hawks play their next five games on the road, beginning with a game in Kamloops Wednesday.