The Vancouver Giants and Portland Winterhawks opened their Western Hockey League playoff series with a bang on Saturday night.
Brendan Gallagher had four goals and an assist as the Giants out-paced the Winterhawks 9-6 in an unruly opening to their second round match-up. Vancouver leads the series 1-0 with Game 2 set for Portland, Ore., on Sunday.
The game was physical throughout, including Lance Bouma and Luke Walker being assessed off-setting slashing penalties before the puck dropped at the start of the second period.
Emotions boiled over at the 16:40 mark of the third period as 76 minutes of penalties were doled out to both teams.
The Giants earned a total of 65 minutes of penalties spread out over 16 infractions, while the Winterhawks had 17 penalties add up to 75 minutes.
Vancouver's James Henry and Portland's Taylor Aronson and Brad Ross were thrown out of the game for fighting.
Despite a combined 140 penalty minutes on the score sheet, most of the infractions cancelled each other out. As a result, Vancouver was 1-for-5 on the power play, while Portland went 0-for-4 with the extra man.
Elsewhere in the WHL: it was Brandon 4 Saskatoon 1; and Kelowna 3 Tri-City 2.
At Portland, Bouma, Craig Cunningham and James Wright all scored and added two assists for the Giants. Henry and Brett Breitkreuz added singles.
Ryan Johansen led the Winterhawks with a goal and three assists. Aronson and Ross both scored and added an assist, while Stefan Schneider, Seth Swenson and Ty Rattie chipped in as well.
Wheat Kings 4 Blades 1
At Saskatoon, Brent Raedeke scored twice, including the winner, to lead Brandon to a victory over the Blades.
Toni Rajala and Matt Calvert also scored for the Wheat Kings, who lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final 2-0, with the series headed to Brandon, Man., for Game 3 on Wednesday.
Travis Toomey replied for the Blades.
Rockets 3 Americans 2
At Kennewick, Wash., Spencer Main had a goal and an assist to lead Kelowna to a win over Tri-City to even the series at one game apiece.
Brandon McMillan's empty-net goal gave the Rockets a 3-1 lead, which turned out to be the winner. Lucas Bloodoff also tallied.
Tri-City's Brendan Shinnimin scored with 3.3 seconds left in the game. Sergei Drozd added a marker for the Americans.
Kelowna will host Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.