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Tri-City Americans win playoff series with 4-3 OT victory over Kelowna Rockets

NHL.com @NHL

Kruise Reddick and the Tri-City Americans advanced to the next round of the Western Hockey League playoffs in thrilling fashion on Friday night.

Reddick scored at 5:37 of overtime to lead the Americans to a 4-3 victory over the Kelowna Rockets and a series win in WHL action.

Tri-City takes the series 4-1 and will play the winner of the Vancouver Giants-Spokane Chiefs pairing in the Western Conference final.

Kelowna led 3-1 with eight minutes left in regulation after a Lucas Bloodoff goal. But the Americans, who had been stale most of the game, came to life.

Sergei Drozd scored his second of the game at 13:44 to pull Tri-City within one.

Then, with 1:58 left in regulation, the Americans pulled goaltender Drew Owsley for an extra attacker.

With their four top forwards on the ice, the Americans tied the game 3-3 as Johnny Lazo slipped the puck in at the right post.

Elsewhere in the WHL it was Saskatoon 4 Brandon 3; Medicine Hat 5 Calgary 4 and Vancouver 5 Portland 3.

At Kennewick, Wash., Drozd scored twice for the Americans, while Lazo forced overtime with 1:24 left in regulation play.

Brandon McMillan had a pair of goals and an assist for the Rockets, while Bloodoff had a single.

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Blades 4 Wheat Kings 3

At Brandon, Sask., Saskatoon scored three times in the third period to defeat the Wheat Kings and tie their playoff series.

Derek Hulak, Walker Wintoneak and Jeremy Boyer, with an empty-net goal, all scored in the third as the Blades evened their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal 2-2. Marek Viedensky also scored for Saskatoon.

Aaron Lewadniuk, Colby Robak and Brayden Schenn replied for the Wheat Kings, who host Game 5 on Saturday.

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Tigers 5 Hitmen 4

At Calgary, Matt MacKay scored twice and added an assist as Medicine Hat edged the Hitmen.

Thomas Carr had the winner and had an assist for the Tigers, while Wacey Hamilton and Bretton Cameron also scored.

Matt MacKenzie, Tyler Shattock, Cody Sylvester and Giffen Nyren supplied the offence for Calgary.

The Hitmen lead the series 3-2 and Medicine Hat will host Game 6 of the series on Sunday to try to force a seventh and deciding game in Calgary on Tuesday.

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Giants 5 Winterhawks 3

At Vancouver, James Wright and Craig Cunningham both scored twice as the Giants beat Portland.

Tomas Vincour also scored for Vancouver, who took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Vancouver can advance with another victory at home on Saturday night.

Ryan Johansen, Oliver Gabriel and Nino Niederreiter tallied for the Winterhawks, who suffered their first loss in six playoff road games.

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