Hawks draw even in Edmonton, 5-1
The Portland Winterhawks evened the WHL Finals series with Edmonton with a 5-1 victory on the road Friday night.
Brendan Leipsic and Sven Bartschi both scored twice to lead the Hawks, who play host to the Oil Kings Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Rose Garden.
Taylor Peters scored his first playoff goal and Mac Carruth made 38 saves for Portland, which improved to 13-4 in the playoffs.
The teams play Game 4 on Tuesday at the Rose Garden.
Portland played without leading scorer Ty Rattie, who was injured in Thursday's 3-2 loss, and got outshot 39-27.
PORTLAND'S TRIP TO MEMORIAL CUP RUNS THROUGH EDMONTON
Portland's first trip to the Memorial Cup outside of the Northwest is just four wins away, at least one of which must be in Edmonton, Alberta.
The Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference champion Edmonton Oil Kings have the home ice advantage for the league championship series, which begins Thursday in Edmonton.
Portland won the Western Conference title for the second year in a row, and will be aiming for its fourth WHL title, the other ones coming in 1979, 1982 and 1998. The Hawks have played in the WHL Finals eight times.
The Winterhawks have twice won the Memorial Cup, one in Portland and one in Spokane, Wash. Portland won at the Memorial Coliseum in 1983, the first year the Cup included a home team along with the three Canadian Hockey League champions, and again in 1998.
Portland also played host to the 1986 Memorial Cup when New Westminster of the WHL withdrew at the last minute.
The Memorial Cup features the champions of Canada's minor leagues and has been played since 1919. Since 1983, it's featured the champions of the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and a host team, which rotates between the three leagues.
This year, it'll be held in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Cataractes of the QMJHL.
The WHL Finals schedule features games in Edmonton Thursday and Friday, with games in Portland Sunday and next Tuesday. If needed, the series will be return to Edmonton, May 12.
Portland lost last year's finals to Kootenay, Alberta, 4-1.
The Winterhawks are 12-3 in playoff games this season, having swept their first-round series with Kelowna and the conference finals against Tri-City.
WINTERHAWKS FINALS HISTORY
1979 Beat Brandon 4-2
1982 Beat Regina 4-1
1987 Lost to Medicine Hat 4-0
1989 Lost to Swift Current 4-0
1993 Lost to Swift Current 4-3
1998 Beat Brandon 4-0
2001 Lost to Red Deer 4-1
2011 Lost to Kootenay 4-1
MEMORIAL CUP HISTORY
1983 Won Memorial Cup at Memorial Coliseum as host team
1986 Played in Memorial Cup as host team
1998 Won Memorial Cup in Spokane, Wash.