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Hawks to play Spokane in WHL Western Conference finals

Levko Koper's overtime goal capped a great Spokane rally as the Chiefs beat Tri-City 5-4 on Tuesday to advance to the Western Hockey League Western Conference finals.

The Chiefs, who won the series 4-2, will play the Portland Winterhawks in the best-of-seven West final series starting at 7 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Sunday, both games in the Rose Garden.

The Chiefs trailed 3-0 Tuesday entering the third period before ripping off four consecutive goals. The Americans tied the score, and regulation ended 4-4, before Koper's game-winning score.

Medicine Hat and Kootenay play in the WHL Eastern Conference finals.

The Winterhawks were 4-5 in nine regular-season meetings with the Chiefs. The two teams met last season in the first round of the playoffs and the Winterhawks won in seven games with Ty Rattie scoring the Game 7 overtime winner.

It will mark the ninth playoff series all-time between the teams, with Portland having won five of the eight series, including the 1998 and 2001 Western Conference finals, the only two times the teams have met for the conference title.

The Portland-Spokane series, as announced by the WHL:

Game 1: 7 p.m. Friday, April 22 at the Rose Garden

Game 2: 5 p.m. Sunday, April 24 at the Rose Garden

Game 3: 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 at Spokane

Game 4: 7:05 p.m. Friday, April 29 at Spokane

Game 5*: 7 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Rose Garden

Game 6*: 7:05 p.m. Monday, May 2 at Spokane

Game 7*: 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 at the Rose Garden

(*If necessary)

Tickets for Game 1 and Game 2 at the Rose Garden are on sale now at ticketmaster.com and in person at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Rose Quarter box office and the Winterhawks' ticket office in Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Groups can book their tickets by calling 503-236-HAWK.