Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hawks Take 3-0 Series Lead with 3-1 Win in Spokane

Portland took a commanding 3-0 series lead on Tuesday night and could finish out the series with a victory tonight in Spokane. The Hawks once again combined excellent defense with great goaltending, en route to a 3-1 victory over a desperate Chiefs squad.

The first period, like game 2 was a back and forth affair with both goalies coming up big time and time again. Portland had 13 shots and Spokane had 12. It was the Hawk's last shot of the period that would get by Spokane goalie Eric Williams, however. With under a minute to play in the period Spokane defenseman Reid Gow, threw a blind pass behind himself at the Hawk's blue line. It went right to a waiting Nic Petan who fed Ty Rattie for breakaway. As has been the case most times Rattie gets a breakaway, he buried it, this time going upstairs glove side, for his 10th of the playoffs.
Nice Petan

Portland would add to their lead 8:01 into the second, when after Troy Rutkowski hit him with an excellent pass right in front of Williams, Nic Petan simply stepped around the goalie and backhanded it into the empty net for his 5th of the playoffs. That one, would be the only one Spokane got back, on the power play when Blake Gal was able to tip a Reid Gow point shot past Mac Carruth to make it 2-1 going inot the 3rd.

The last period would be where Portland showed their strength defensively. Spokane, desperate to keep from going down 3 games to 0, accounted for only 9 shots and probably only one or two good scoring chances. This despite a power play in the period and the pulling of Williams for an extra attacker with 1:41 left in the game. Portland would add an empty netter off the stick of Taylor Leier after the guy with the same first name(Taylor Peters) blocked a shot and cleared it to center ice, where Leier was able to get a shot away.
Taylor Leier

Williams made 34 saves on 36 shots and Carruth made 25 on 26. The Portland power play sputtered in this one going 0 for 3. Spokane went 1/4 on the man advantage.

3 Stars:
#3- Eric Williams- Great aoaltending battle in this one, Williams kept his team in the game with several heart stopping saves and quite a few routine ones. His best was probably on Rattie in the first, when Rattie seemingly had an empty net to shoot at.

#2- Mac Carruth- Just a solid series all around for Carruth so far. He has not made many mistakes and has done a fantastic job of, at times, directing his defenders to spots where they can benefit the most.

#1- Nic Petan- 1 goal and 1 assist brings him to 14 points in 9 playoff games. He did not score any points in 29 playoff games combined as a 15 and 16 year old, so the improvement point wise is astounding.

Random Notes:
-Leier had a goal dis-allowed half-way through the 3rd, when it was ruled he deflected it in with a high stick. That makes 4 goals this playoff for Portland that have been dis-allowed after review by the officials
-Carruth has a 1.00 GAA after 3 games in the series, against Spokane.
-Portland, once more, struck a couple posts in this one.
-The Hawk's 40+ power play percentage coming into the series, has suffered in the series against Spokane going 2/15 on the man advantage.
-Portland had held Spokane without a power play goal for the first 6 opportunities they've had this series, before Gal's goal at 16:24 of the 2nd in this one.
-For the 3rd game in a row, Spokane mixed up their lines. They went with Dylan Walchuk centering Todd Fiddler and Mitch Holmberg on the top unit and Blake Gal centering Alessio Bertaggia and Jackson Playfair on the 2nd line.
-At least in the first, these line pairings seemed to work as Spokane kept up with Portland pretty well.
-Kamloops took a 3-0 series lead over Kelowna after J.C. Lipon scored the overtime winner in Game 3 for the 5-4 win.
-Edmonton rolled Medicine Hat 9-2 for a 3-0 lead behind 2 goals and an assist from Michael St. Croix.
-1 day after Red Deer won in overtime off a Matt Dumba overtime goal, Calgary answered back with an OT winner from Cody Sylvester for a 3-1 series lead.
-Portland goes for the sweep tonight at 7:05 pm in Game 4 in Spokane.

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