The Portland Winterhawks (51-11-1-2) dropped a 4-3 decision to the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings (45-15-2-3) Wednesday in front of 6,774 fans at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The Hawks scored the lone goal of the first period on a power play when Nic Petan took a great feed from Ty Rattie and beat Oil Kings netminder Laurent Brossoit at the 7:00 mark.
Edmonton tied it 3:21 into the second on a goal by Travis Ewanyk, but the Hawks regained the lead with another power play goal when Troy Rutkowski fired a blast from the point through traffic past Brossoit to make it 2-1 at the 13:20 mark. Portland struck again at the 16:05 mark when Taylor Leier scored to extend the lead to 3-1, but Edmonton back got within one when Dylan Wruck scored with 3.2 seconds left in the period to make it 3-2 going into the third.
The Oil Kings evened the game at 3-3 when Trevor Cheek scored 1:23 into the third, then got a power play goal from Michael St. Croix with 1:03 to go to finish with the 4-3 victory.
Mac Carruth made 38 saves on 42 shots in goal for the Hawks, while Brossoit finished with 26 saves on 29 Portland shots.
Wednesday’s game was the first meeting since Game 7 of last year’s WHL championship series, and both teams lead their respective conferences.
The Hawks are back on the ice Saturday when they travel to Everett to take on the Silvertips.