Monday, May 6, 2013

Hawks Dominate Defensively: Win 3-0 in Game Two

The solid defensive effort the Edmonton Oil Kings imposed on the Portland Winterhawks in the last two periods of Game One was flipped around on them in Game Two. The Hawks allowed only 16 total shots to come in on Goalie Mac Carruth in this one, including only 2 in the third period.

The Winterhawks pressure was not as frantic and awe inducing as Game One, but it was more constant and restrictive of any counter attack. Edmonton being under attack forced them to take the three first penalties in the period. The third one would be the charm for the Hawks. Travis Ewanyk threw an elbow at Portland role player: Preston Kopeck and was given two minutes for charging. Portland finally took advantage of having the extra man when Nic Petan's second attempt to get the puck back door to Ty Rattie found it's way there. Rattie, of course, made no mistake getting it into the empty net, as Laurent Brossoit was out of position. It was Rattie's 46th in the playoffs for his career. He is now only one away from tying Marc Pederson (1985-88 Medicine Hat) for the most in WHL history. Portland out shot the Oil Kings 11-3 in the period.
Rattie shooting on Brossoit

The second period would see Edmonton get it's best chances for the game, especially one where Michael St. Croix just missed a deflection on a power play. However, Portland was the team that continued to dictate the tempo and it finally seemed to wear down the WHL's best defensive team. A solid hit at the Edmonton blue line on Ashton Sautner, by Taylor Peters caused Brendan Leipsic to pick up the loose puck in the Oil King's zone. Leipsic made no mistake, sniping the top left corner on Brossoit.The Hawks scored again in the period with 1:15 left, when Oliver Bjorkstrand took the feed from Derrick Pouliot and put it past Brossoit for the 3 goal advantage.
Leipsic's Goal on Brossoit

In the third period, Portland just simply would not allow Edmonton to get any clean looks at the net, controlling the puck and winning a majority of the corner battles. They out shot the Oil Kings 14-3 in the last period and tied up the series at a game apiece, heading into Edmonton on Tuesday.

Carruth got his 5th shut out of these playoffs and now extends his franchise record to 8 overall. Brossoit stood tall again for the Oil Kings stopping 33 of 36. It would have looked much worse on the scoreboard if not for the Calgary Flames prospect.
Carruth stopped all 16 shots he faced

3 Stars:
#3- Mac Carruth- Not often that the Goalie with the playoff shut out gets only the third star, but his team played such a solid defensive game, that he only had to make a handful of solid saves.

#2- Troy Rutkowski- One assist for the Captain, but a simply inspired turn around effort for his Defense give him the second star. The top four just did not make a mistake, like they did in Game One.

#1- Brendan Leipsic- The little ball of hate was all over the ice, setting the tone and really showing his team what they need to do with anything Edmotnon gives them by shelving the big turnover in the second period.

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