PORTLAND, Ore. - Henrik Samuelsson scored twice and Laurent Brossoit made 35 saves as the defending champion Edmonton Oil Kings opened the WHL final with a 4-1 win over the Portland Winterhawks on Friday.
Edmonton defeated Portland in seven games last season, and the Oil Kings lead 1-0 in the rematch to determine the WHL's representative in the Memorial Cup tournament later this month in Saskatoon.
Dylan Wruck and Curtis Lazar also scored, and Stephane Legault added three assists for the Oil Kings, who have scored 75 goals in 17 playoff games this season.
Taylor Leier scored the only goal for the Winterhawks, who outshot Edmonton 36-29 but had trouble solving Brossoit, who leads the WHL with a 1.54 goals-against average in the playoffs.
The Winterhawks dominated the first period, but the Oil Kings scored the only goal on their first shot of a game. Dylan Wruck picked up a loose puck in the slot and backhanded it over Portland goalie Mac Carruth for a 1-0 lead at the 2:03 mark.
Edmonton pushed the lead to 2-0 at 11:17 of the second period when Stephane Legault forced a Portland turnover and found Samuelsson, who beat Carruth with a wrist shot to the glove side.
Leier gave Portland life with a rebound goal three minutes into the third to make it 2-1, but Samuelsson answered with his second of the game 47 seconds later to rebuild the two-goal advantage for Edmonton.
Lazar took advantage of a strange carom off the end boards, batting a bouncing puck past Carruth to get an insurance goal midway through the third.