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Portland and Edmonton knotted at 2-2 in WHL Championship series

Wednesday, 05.09.2012 / 11:19 AM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
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Portland and Edmonton knotted at 2-2 in WHL Championship series

Mac Carruth and the Portland Winterhawks face a best-of-three situation against the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL Championship series. (Photo courtesy WHL/Bryan Heim)

The Western Hockey League championship series between Portland and Edmonton has been a roller-coaster of momentum swings, marked by three one-goal affairs in the first four tilts. Blackhawks prospect Mac Carruth and the Winterhawks find themselves knotted with the Oil Kings at two games apiece and facing a best-of-three situation heading into the series' home stretch.

In Game 1, Edmonton jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second period, and a comeback surge by the Winterhawks was stopped at two goals, as Carruth made 26 saves on 29 shots. The next night, Portland's high-octane offense scored the first four goals of Game 2, and Carruth played his best game of the series so far, stopping 38 of 39 Edmonton shots in the 5-1 victory.

Portland's home crowd was treated to a pair of exciting, unpredictable contests in Games 3 and 4. The Winterhawks started strong in Game 3, outshooting the Oil Kings 26-14 and leading 3-0 after the second period, but had to weather a Edmonton push-back in the final frame to emerge with a 4-3 victory at the Rose Garden. Game 4 unfurled in the opposite direction, with the visitors taking a 3-1 lead after two periods. Portland's star forward Sven Bartschi forced the first overtime of the series after tying the game with a pair of third-period markers, but the Oil Kings snatched a 4-3 victory at 9:07 of the extra frame. Carruth made 38 saves on 42 shots in the loss.

The series returns to Edmonton for Game 5 on May 10, with Game 6 scheduled for May 12 in Portland. Click here to read Carruth's interview with chicagoblackhawks.com.