Winterhawks, Kamloops advance to West finals
The division winners the Portland Winterhawks and Kamloops Blazers will meet in the Western Hockey League Western Conference finals.
Both teams won their semifinal series Wednesday night. Portland won 5-0 at Spokane to sweep that four-game series. Kamloops beat Kelowna 4-3 in overtime at Kamloops to win that series 4-0 as well.
Portland, which had the league's best regular-season record and won the U.S. Division, will have the home-ice advantage in the West finals.
Game 1 is 7 p.m. Friday, April 19 at Memorial Coliseum. Game 2 also is at the coliseum at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20.
Games 3 and 4 will be at B.C. Division champion Kamloops on Tuesday, April 23 and Wednesday, April 24, both at 7 p.m.
Game 5, if necessary, would be at the Rose Garden at 7 p.m., Friday, April 26.
Game 6 is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 28 at Kamloops.
A Game 7 would be at the Rose Garden at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 30.
Last year, the teams met in the second year, with Portland winning in seven games.
The Hawks, who have reached the West finals for the third year in a row, got 30 saves from Mac Carruth in Wednesday's clincher. It was his second shutout of the series and the fifth in his postseason career, extending his franchise record.
Carruth and the Hawks held the Chiefs to three goals in the series.
Portland led 2-0 after one period on goals by Chase De Leo at 10:53 and Taylor Peters, shorthanded, at 13:05.
Early in the second period, Ty Rattie scored on a power play. It was his 11th goal of this postseason and his 41st career playoff game, tying him with Reg Leach (Flin Flon, 1967-70) for second place in league history.
Joey Baker gave Portland a 4-0 bulge at 10:55 of the third period, and Taylor Leier scored at 16:31.
Kamloops outscored Kelowna 18-10 in their series. The Blazers won the last two games in OT, after taking a 2-0 series lead on the road.
Kamloops had beat Victoria 4-2 in the first round.
Portland opened the playoffs with a 4-2 series win over Everett.
Edmonton and Calgary, the top two teams in the East, are rolling in the playoffs, too. Edmonton finished off Medicine Hat on Wednesday, winning 4-2 on the road to take that Eastern semifinal 4-0. Calgary leads Red Deer 3-1 going into Thursday's game at Calgary.