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Winterhawks beats Oil Kings 3-1, takes 2-1 series lead in WHL final

Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 11:44 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Winterhawks beats Oil Kings 3-1, takes 2-1 series lead in WHL final

EDMONTON - The Portland Winterhawks earned a key road victory in the Western Hockey League final.

Olivier Bjorkstrand and Taylor Leier each had a goal and an assist for Portland in a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday.

Ty Rattie also scored as the Winterhawks took a 2-1 lead in the championship series after Portland had to settle for a split at home.

Michael St. Croix had the lone goal for Edmonton.

Portland opened the scoring at 4:39 of the first after Bjorkstrand eluded Edmonton defender Keegan Lowe along the outside to set up the feed in front to a wide-open Leier.

Rattie doubled the Winterhawks lead with his 17th of the post-season, finishing off an odd-man rush with Nicolas Petan with a wrist shot through Laurent Brossoit's five-hole at 8:14 of the opening period.

Bjorkstrand sent Portland into the second period with a 3-0 lead after tucking a backhand up high from in tight at 15:48 into the blocker corner.

St. Croix put Edmonton on the board at 9:13 of the second, burying a cross-crease feed from Dylan Wruck in behind Portland netminder Mac Carruth.

Edmonton nearly made it a one-goal game just moments later as Curtis Lazar broke in alone, but Carruth stretched out with the right pad to keep the Winterhawks ahead 3-1 heading into what would be a scoreless third period.

Carruth stopped 38 shots in net for Portland, while Brossoit turned aside 24 pucks for Edmonton.

Neither team struck on the power play as Portland held four opportunities with the man advantage and Edmonton earned one.

The series resumes for Game 4 at Rexall Place on Wednesday night.

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I think I'm lucky to be here and you definitely don't take very many things for granted, if you take anything for granted. I definitely put my family and my wife and my close family in perspective, that they're the most important thing in the world. I want to do whatever I can to play hockey, but like I said, under the right circumstances.

— Stars forward Rich Peverley to "The Musers" radio show on The Ticket 1310 AM in Dallas