Thursday August 28, 2014






Remembering the series that had a bit of everything

With the Kamloops Blazers and Portland Winterhawks set to meet in the WHL’s Western Conference final, here’s a look back at the seven-game second-round series between these teams that so captivated hockey fans last spring.

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Game 1: Kamloops 3 at Portland 5 — The Blazers led 2-0 after a period and 3-1 with 11 minutes to play in the third period. . . . Portland tied it with goals by F Sven Baertschi and F Ty Rattie just 1:07 apart. . . . F Brad Ross got the winner on a power play at 14:47. . . . The play everyone was talking about occurred at 18:36 of the third period when Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave ventured behind his net to play a puck and was hit by Portland F Oliver Gabriel, who was given a minor for goaltender interference. He later was suspended for four games. . . . Rattie had two goals and two assists; Baertschi finished one and three. . . . F Brendan Ranford had two assists for Kamloops.

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Game 2: Kamloops 1 at Portland 4 — Baertschi scored twice and G Mac Carruth stopped 39 shots for the Winterhawks. . . . Cheveldave had finished Game 1, but wasn’t feeling well by the morning of Game 2, so Cam Lanigan started and made 30 saves. . . . The Blazers had Taran Kozun on the bench in support of Lanigan. . . . Baertschi scored at 19:14 of the second period, F Taylor Leier made it 2-0 just 56 seconds into the third and F Cam Reid upped it to 3-0 just 19 seconds later. . . . Among the 22 penalties was a double minor to Kamloops F JC Lipon for butt-ending Rattie.

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Game 3: Portland 5 at Kamloops 2 — The Winterhawks scored three shorthanded goals, two of them by Ross. . . . Portland F Taylor Peters drew three shorthanded assists. . . . Leier broke a 1-1 tie with a shorthanded goal at 5:16 of the second, with Ross scoring 33 seconds later. . . . Kamloops was 1-for-9 on the PP; Portland was 1-for-4.

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Game 4: Portland 4 at Kamloops 5 — The Winterhawks, with a 3-0 lead in the series, led this game 4-0 at 10:58 of the first period and 4-1 going into the second. . . . Portland maintained that momentum shifted 12 minutes into the first period after an unpenalized Lipon hit that knocked Rattie out of the game and sent him to hospital with what turned out to be a neck injury. Lipon scored immediately after the hit to get Kamloops on the board. . . . Ranford tied the scored at 6:03 of the third period and F Dylan Willick got the winner at 7:37 on the power play. . . . Ranford also had two assists. . . . Portland also was unhappy about a third-period check to the head by Kamloops D Austin Madaisky on Leier. . . . Things definitely were beginning to heat up.
Game 5: Kamloops 7 at Portland 2 — F Jordan DePape had two goals and two assists and Madaisky had three assists as the Blazers won going away. . . . The Blazers were without Lipon, who drew a one-game suspension under supplemental discipline for his Game 4 hit on Rattie, who played. . . . The visitors led 2-0 and 4-1 at the period breaks. . . . Kamloops F Tim Bozon beat Carruth on a penalty shot at 6:30 of the third and when F Chase Souto scored at 7:35, the Winterhawks changed goaltenders with Brendan Burke cleaning up. . . . Lanigan stopped 34 shots.

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Game 6: Portland 6 at Kamloops 7 — Portland F Brendan Leipsic’s power-play goal at 11:24 of the second period gave the Winter hawks a 5-2 lead. . . . It was still 5-2 with 15 minutes left in the third period. . . . And then the comeback began. . . . Kamloops D Marek Hrbas got it started at 5:55, on the PP. . . . DePape scored at 8:49 and F Aspen Sterzer beat Carruth 11 seconds later. . . . When F Colin Smith scored a PP goal at 15:21 the Blazers amazingly had the lead. . . . The joy was short-lived, however, as Reid pulled Portland into a 6-6 tie at 15:47. . . . Kamloops D Bronson Maschmeyer won it with his second goal of the game at 19:39. . . . Lanigan stopped 24 shots, while Carruth turned aside 36. . . . In something of a surreal moment, the Kamloops fans stood and cheered until the Blazers returned to the ice surface from their dressing room and took a curtain call.

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Game 7: Kamloops 0 at Portland 2 — F Marcel Noebels scored at 1:01 of the first period and Carruth made it stand up with 32 saves. . . . Leipsic added an insurance marker at 9:49 of the third. . . . According to The Oregonian’s Paul Buker, when it was all over Portland radio analyst Andy Kemper said: “This was a war, folks, an absolute war.”

— GREGG DRINNAN





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