Portland takes 2-0 lead in WHL conference final

Monday, 04.23.2012 / 12:50 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
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The Portland Winterhawks celebrate with goaltender Mac Carruth after winning 5-4 in overtime in Game 2 against the Tri-City Americans. (Photo courtesy WHL/John Allen)

After a wild finish to their seven-game second-round series, Mac Carruth and the Portland Winterhawks remained on a rollercoaster ride this past weekend, recording a pair of overtime victories to take a 2-0 lead over the Tri-City Americans in the Western Conference Final of the Western Hockey League.

Carruth, Chicago’s seventh-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (191st overall), made 43 saves on 47 shots for Portland in Game 1, including all seven he faced in overtime. Marcel Noebels potted the game-winner 7:52 into the extra frame to seal the 5-4 victory.

In Game 2, Carruth saved 34 of 38 shots, as Portland and Tri-City again played past 60 minutes. Ty Rattie completed a hat trick while shorthanded at 7:58 of overtime, and Portland again prevailed 5-4.

In 13 postseason appearances this season, Carruth is 10-3 with a 3.44 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. He paces all goalies in the playoffs with 416 saves on 457 shots and ranks second with 715 minutes played.

The series will return to Portland for Games 3 and 4 on April 25-26.