The problem is that Tri-Cities plays Portland the same way they would play Seattle or Everett. No offense to those teams, but they're just not as good as Portland. Who usually scores for the Americans? Shinnimin, Holland. And most of their goals are withing 5 to 10 feet of the goal which is wide open due to great passing.
Look who scores for the Americans against Portland. Feser, Yuen, and Hughesman did have one. Most of those goals were scored from shooting beyond 10 feet, and screening the goalie or doing that and getting a rebound. You can't beat a team like Portland trying to be a superstar and take on the team by yourself.
The Americans need to get back to old school, tough, grind it out hockey. Getting their defenceman in the game taking shots while screening the goalie and getting rebounds.