While it was very different, in a lot of ways with Game 1, the outcome looks a lot similar. In that game, Portland fell behind 5-1, before pulling back within 5-3 and making it a little bit of a game. In game 3, Portland also had to hold on to a 5-3 lead late, but you definitely got the feeling they would hold on.
Leading the way for the Winterhawks was Nic Petan, who had 1 goal and 2 assists and now has points in all 9 post-season games. Oliver Bjorkstrand, who had not scored in regulation in the series, scored twice and was able to find more room offensively.
Here are the stats I kept for Portland's 5-3 Game Three Win:
|Player||TOI||Shots||Faceoff %||Hits||Blocked Shots|
-I'd been calling for some more offensive involvement from more than just Blake Heinrich and Adam Henry and Anton Cederholm answered the call, scoring Portland's first goal of the game. He jumped up into the play and expertly slipped the puck past Carter Hart's glove side. This was Cederholm's first post-season goal this year and 3rd all time in the WHL.
-Nic Petan has been Steady Eddie for Portland in the playoffs, scoring at least once in each game and is now tied for 2nd in the WHL in playoff scoring with Bjorkstrand, while playing one less game than the current leader (Adam Tambellini).
-Portland seems to have used the 4 days off, to find new ways to create scoring looks for Bjorkstrand. One of the set plays on the power play involves him skating nearly out of the zone, before coming back and taking a pass in the high slot. This was how he scored his 2nd goal of the game on the power play. His first goal was a deft deflection/chip that found it's way past Hart.
-Hart could have been better for Everett, one maybe two of Portland's goals, but I think overall the 5-0 Portland lead was due to Portland dominating possession and Everett sitting back and playing conservatively, as well as, taking poor penalties at really poor times.
-One line that played well for Everett, for the 2nd straight game was Rem- Laurencelle, Nikita Scherbak and Brayden Low. They caused havoc in Portland's zone and forced a couple poor turnovers by Layne Viveiros. Scherbak, though was held to 1 assist and took 2 of the minor penalties that directly led to Portland's two power play goals.
-Another poor decision by Everett, ended up taking a goal away from D-man Ben Betker with 9:33 left in the 2nd period and Everett down 2-0. While Everett was rushing up the ice, Dawson Leedahl dropped the mitts with Portland's Keegan Iverson and negated Betker's goal. This also led to Paul Bittner going back on the top line with Petan and Bjorkstrand and contributed to Portland's third goal.
-Dominic Turgeon continues his excellent playoff run with his 6th goal of the post-season off a smooth basketball style post move on Ben Betker.
-Ivan Nikolishin scored one Everett's late goals, but was not noticeable most of the game. Everett needs him to be a whole lot better for them to get a win Friday night, in Game 4.
-Adin Hill was stellar for 57 minutes of the game, but allowed a couple weak goals late in the game. I am increasingly starting to believe that Hill plays his best when the game is close, but tends to lose concentration when his team is winning by a lot.
-Dawson Leedahl, who had just gotten back into the lineup for Everett, left after taking a cross-checking penalty in the 3rd period. He may have aggravated whatever he had injured before. Also, D-man Noah Juulsen was un-available and it is not known, as of now, whether he will play in game 4.
-Another Everett D-man: Cole MacDonald blocked a shot with his med-section and looked uncomfortable afterwards.