Winterhawks even series with Oil Kings
DAVE CAMERON, QMI Agency
|Edmonton Oil Kings goalie Laurent Brossoit stops Portland Winterhawks forward Brad Ross during Game 2 of the WHL final at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., May 4, 2012. (CODIE McLACHLAN/QMI Agency)
EDMONTON - No Rattie, no matter.
With their top scorer — and the playoffs’ top scorer — on the shelf after a head injury in Game 1, the Portland Winterhawks scored without Ty Rattie to even the WHL finals 1-1 with a convincing 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rexall Place Friday night.
Controversy came with six minutes left in the second period, after an over-under call at the side of the net.
Was the puck already in the net before the back of the cage popped up? Or was that when it went in?
Waved off and sent for review, it was still being looked over by a deep collection of eyes.
It was only when the footage got a JFK-style analysis that it appeared the puck deflected in off the leg of Hawks goalie Mac Carruth.
But the real question was, did it really matter?
The Oil Kings got a third-period goal when Kristians Pelss buried a sharp rebound off the post, but the Winterhawks ground down the Oil Kings the same way Edmonton ground down the visitors in Game 1.
The second period was all about missed opportunities for the Oil Kings.
Mitch Moroz missed a great chance when the puck popped out front off of a Travis Ewanyk forecheck.
TJ Foster drove hard to the crease, but two Hawks closed down with their sticks as the rebound found Mark Pysyk.
Meanwhile, the Hawks did a great job of hounding the hosts in their own zone.
Back-to-back turnovers by Ahston Sautner led first to a Brad Ross chance in front, then straight to Brandon Leipsic, who charged straight at Oil Kings goalie Laurent Brossoit and flipped a shot over his glove.
The cross-crease pass appeared again, this time on the stick of Sven Bartschi, who threaded a needle between the post and Brossoit’s blocker.
Before the game was two minutes old, Rhett Rachisnki was looking to cross-crease a pass and it banked off a sliding Josh Hanson and was held out of the Portland net by the trailing leg of Carruth.
A minute later, at the other end of the rink, a cross-crease pass found Leipsic alone in front of the Edmonton net and he juked around Brossoit for a 1-0 Portland lead.
Leipsic had another chance from the slot on a power play, but was robbed by Brossoit. Then Leipsic hit a post and Brad Ross was stoned by Brossoit an a one-timer from the top of the crease.
Blood boiled in the last minute when Griffin Reinhart and Troy Rutkowski banged big bodies.
Both were sent to the box, along with Tyler Maxwell and Leipsic.