PORTLAND -- The Portland Winterhawks took Game 1 of the Western Conference Final 4-1 over the Kamloops Blazers in front of 7,079 fans Friday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Kamloops opened the scoring 2:10 into the game on a goal by Joe Kornelsen, but that was their lone goal of the night. The Hawks tied it at the 15:03 mark on a tip-in by Taylor Leier to make it 1-1, his sixth of the postseason.
Just over two minutes later Ty Rattie was awarded a penalty shot after being impeded on a breakaway, and beat Kamloops netminder Cole Cheveldave on his attempt to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead they took into the second. It was Rattie’s 42nd career playoff goal, giving him sole possession of second place in the WHL record book, just five behind all-time leader Mark Pederson.
After a scoreless second period, defenseman Troy Rutkowski banged in a rebound on a power play 3:17 into the third to put Portland ahead 3-1. The Hawks extended it to 4-1 when Brendan Leipsic scored at the 14:00 mark, which remained the final.
Rattie finished with three points on a goal and two assists. In addition to being second all-time among WHL playoff goal scorers, he is one point behind Brad Moran for fourth in postseason points.
Mac Carruth earned the win in net, stopping 33 of 34 shots. Cheveldave took the loss for Kamloops with four goals allowed on 41 Portland shots.
The Hawks were 1-3 on the power play, and a perfect 5-5 on the penalty kill, with Rattie’s penalty shot goal coming shorthanded.
The two teams get back at it tomorrow with Game 2 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Coliseum.