EDMONTON - Brendan Leipsic had a goal and an assist as the Portland Winterhawks edged the Edmonton Oil Kings 2-1 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the WHL final.
Troy Rutkowski had the other goal for Portland, which is battling in the Ed Chynoweth Cup for a third straight year. The Winterhawks were previously bested by the Kootenay Ice and the current defending champion Oil Kings.
Mitch Moroz had the lone goal for Edmonton.
Game 5 is Friday in Portland.
Edmonton's Edgars Kulda had the best chance early, whipping Moroz's dish from the wing out of midair at 3:20 of the first, but Portland netminder Mac Carruth slid across to block the shot harmlessly away.
With the teams playing four aside, Nicolas Petan set up a wide open Seth Jones halfway through the period, forcing Edmonton goalie Laurent Brossoit to flash across with a sterling right pad save.
Leipsic opened the scoring at 17:13, driving to the net to chop home a loose puck in the low slot past Brossoit.
Rutkwoski doubled the 'Hawks lead at 9:54 of the second period after some crisp passing found Rutkowski in the high slot and he buried the puck to the blocker side.
It took a video review, but Moroz pulled Edmonton within one at 4:45 of the third period, knocking the puck twice out of midair and into the back of the net with his stick just level to the crossbar.
Carruth made 29 saves in net for the Winterhawks, while Brossoit stopped 19 shots.