Hawks cling to edge on road with Spokane


The Portland Winter Hawks hold a 2-1 series advantage over Spokane heading into two Western Hockey League playoff games this weekend.

Depending on what happens tonight and Saturday in Spokane, the best-of-seven series could return to the Rose Garden for Game 6 at 7 p.m. Monday.

The Winter Hawks let Game 3 get away Wednesday in Spokane. They led 2-0 on two early goals by Craig Valette but lost 4-3 in overtime when Chad Klassen whipped a backhand past Portland goalie Krister Toews.

'Give Spokane credit,' coach Mike Williamson said. 'They fought back when it was 2-0. They went to the net hard on the overtime winner. That's usually how games end in overtime.'

Tim Krymusa returned for Spokane, but Jeff Lucky (broken ankle) and Doug Lynch (broken arm) remained out. Joey Hope (shoulder) still hasn't played for Portland.

In Game 3, Portland put only 22 shots on Spokane goalie Barry Brust, a dip in production after two pretty good games last weekend in the Rose Garden. Still, the Hawks, facing a 3-2 deficit in the third period, rallied on Richie Regehr's goal.

Spokane had 28 shots. 'We knew Toews was a good goalie,' Klassen said. 'We just knew we had to get pucks on the net.'

A Game 7 would be Wednesday at Spokane.

If the Hawks win the series, they probably would play Kelowna, the WHL's top team, in the next round.