Blazers burn Winterhawks, force Game 6 in Kamloops
The Kamloops Blazers stuck a thorn in their Rose City hosts on Saturday night, skating to a resounding 7-2 victory in Portland to force Game 6 of the Western Hockey League Western Conference semifinal series.
Game 6 will be played in Kamloops' Interior Savings Centre at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16.
The Blazers were a team possessed in Portland, despite being outshot by the Winterhawks by a 36-34 margin.
Kamloops goaltender Cam Lanigan was stellar in relief of Cole Cheveldave, who was knocked out of the series after suffering a concussion in Game 1 on April 6.
The Blazers jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind goals from Marek Hrbas, Jordan DePape and Ryan Hanes.
Portland responded midway through the second period on a goal from Brendan Leipsic before Brendan Ranford restored Kamloops' three-goal lead with a power-play goal in the final minute of the middle frame.
Kamloops continued to pour it on in the third period, with Tim Bozon scoring on a penalty shot, followed by goals from Chase Souto and Depape.
Portland's Marcel Noebels replied for Portland to round out the scoring.
Kamloops had fallen behind by a 3-0 count in the best-of-seven series before rebounding in past two games. Saturday's blowout victory in Oregon followed the Blazers' remarkable comeback at home on April 11, when the club fell behind 4-0 before clawing its way back for a 5-4 victory.
OVERTIME — Kamloops chased Portland starting goalie Mac Carruth after the sixth goal in the third period. Carruth was replaced by Brendan Burke, who played the final 12 minutes, saving one of two shots faced . . . Three stars from Game 5 in Portland were DePap, Lanigan and Kamloops defenceman Austin Madaisky . . . Attendance at the Rose Garden was 10,135 . . . Portland star and WHL playoff scoring leader Ty Rattie was back in the lineup after getting knocked out of Game 4 in Kamloops by JP Lipon, who was suspended after the hit. Rattie had an assist . . . The last WHL team to come back from a 3-0 playoff deficit was the Spokane Chiefs, who rebounded in 1996 to oust Portland.