The Portland Winterhawks (19-15-0-3) fell 4-3 Saturday in Seattle against the Thunderbirds (15-15-2-2).
The two teams played a high-scoring first period, beginning with Seattle's Jerret Smith scoring 1:17 into the game. The Hawks tied it when Dominic Turgeon scored on a power play at the 9:13 mark to make it 1-1.
Seattle went on to take a 3-1 lead on goals from Justin Hickman and Evan Wardley, but Portland got back within one with 47.4 seconds to go in the frame on another power play when Paul Bittner fired a one-timer past netminder Taran Kozun to cut the deficit to 3-2. But Seattle got one more with just 6.9 seconds remaining when Ryan Gropp scored to make it 4-2 going into the second.
After the six-goal first period, Portland's Ethan Price scored the only goal of the second, finding the back of the net 3:50 into the period to cut the deficit to 4-3, which remained the score going into the third.
The two teams then played a scoreless third as Seattle escaped with the win. Portland was 2-3 on the power play and 5-5 on the penalty kill.
The Hawks were playing without three players as Oliver Bjorkstrand (Denmark), Chase De Leo (USA) and Nic Petan (Canada) are representing their countries at the World Junior Championship.
The team is back in action tomorrow when they host the Spokane Chiefs at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 5 p.m.