The Kootenay Ice will have a chance to advance to the Memorial Cup Friday night after beating the Portland Winterhawks 5-4 Wednesday night in an overtime thriller. Matt Fraser scored the winning goal during Kootenay’s second power play of the overtime period. This was the third game to go to overtime in this series.
Late in the third period, it looked as though Kootenay wouldn’t need overtime to build a 3-1 series lead. However, Portland scored two goals late in the period to extend the game. Ryan Johansen scored at the 16:35 mark to cut Kootenay’s lead to 1. Ty Rattie tied the game at 4 with just 16 seconds left in the game.
As late as Portland scored, Kootenay got on the board almost as early. Jesse Ismond set the tone just 19 seconds into the game by getting a shot past Portland goalkeeper Mac Carruth. Cody Eakin made it a 2-0 lead with his goal in the first period.
Portland wouldn’t score until the second quarter. Goals by Ryan Johansen and Troy Rutkowski evened the game up. Kootenay would regain the lead with Jesse Ismond’s second goal of the game at the 18:11 mark to make it a 3-2 heading into the third period. Cody Eakin’s second goal of the game, midway through the third period, gave the Ice a 4-2 edge.
Game 5 of the WHL Championship Series will be played Friday night at the Rose Garden in Portland. Game 6, if necessary, will be played at the Cranbrook RecPlex in British Colombia on Sunday. If the Winterhawks can force Game 7, they will get to play at home on Monday, May 16.