Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hawks Take Third Western Conference Title in a Row With 4-1 Game 5 Victory

For the Third straight year, the city of Portland celebrated it's WHL team winning the Western Conference title. This is only the 6th time that a franchise has won 3 Conference titles in a row. It is only right that Portland did it their way, with great defense, timely saves and beautiful goals. Now they have just to wait for the winner of Tuesday night's Game 7 between Calgary and Edmonton to find out who their dance partner is.
Hawks Celebrating Their Third Straight Title

Portland opened the scoring with, Denny's WHL player of the week Seth Jone's 5th of the playoffs on the power play. Jones took a feed from Derrick Pouliot and blasted a point shot past a screened Cole Cheveldave and we were off to the races. Kamloops would have an answer in the first, 1 minutes later, when J.C. Lipon found bouncing puck at the side of the net. He wasted no time, getting his first of the series and tying the game.

Portland would take the lead in the second when a beautiful chip pass by Chase De Leo broke a 2 on 1 for his linemates: Taylor Leier and Oliver Bjorkstrand. Leier put home the Bjorkstrand pass, 4:23 into the period for his 7th of the playoffs. It could have been much worse for the Blazers in the period, but Cole Cheveldave made several spectacular saves and 15 total in the period.
Brendan Leipsic Shooting Saturday

Kamloops seemed to gaining momentum in the 3rd when Keegan Iverson took an ill advised penalty and they were rewarded with only their second power play of the game. Instead their most reliable player, over age: Brendan Ranford put the puck right on Ty Rattie's waiting stick at the Kamloops blue line. Rattie walked in alone and buried it short handed for the 3-1 lead. This seemed to take a lot of the wind out of Kamloop's sails and after Joel Edmondson took  dangerous hit in Preston Kopeck, the Hawks put the game away with their second power play goal of the night. It came after Cheveldave made a save on a Pouliot point shot and the puck ended up at the feet of Nic Petan, who buried it. 4-1 would be the series final and the final for the game, as the 9.742 went crazy.

Carruth was stellar again, making an amazing save on Tim Bozon in the 3rd and stopping 22of 23 overall/ Cheveldave, despite giving up 4 goals, had a solid night, stopping 37 of 41. Portland's power play wnet right on clicking, scoring on 2 of their 5 chances.

3 Stars:
#3- Mac Carruth- Though he stopped only 22 shots, he was stellar when he needed to be and was unshakable once again when Kale Kessy and other Blazers tried to get him off his game.

#2- Taylor Leier- Scored a big goal tonight and has been nothing short of amazing for the Hawks so far this playoff year. He wins so many battles along the boards, that he sets the tone for the rest of his line and team.

#1- Ty Rattie- The Western Conference Final MVP, to no one's surprise, finished with 12 points in 5 games and could have had many more.

Random Notes:
-Portland hosts Games 1 and 2 of the WHL Finals, this coming Friday and Saturday night at the Rose Garden.
-For the first time in recent memory, the WHL will not have their Commissioner host a press conference at the home of the team hosting the Final series. This cannot be to big of a surprise, as the WHL just fined and suspended the Hawks this year.
-The Colorado Avalanche won the NHL's draft lottery, meaning Seth Jones could go play for the team that he grew up cheering for.
-Joel Edmondon, was given two game misconducts after he left the bench to instigate a ruckus with the Portland bench.
-Edmonton could be without Captain Griffin Reinhart and Trevor Cheek, should they advance, as Reinhart is out for the year and Cheek is "doubtful."

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