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Winterhawks stumble at Kamloops

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia — Hold the immediate plans for a Western Hockey League championship banner and a trip to the Memorial Cup.

A not-so-funny thing happened to the Portland Winterhawks on their way to a sweep, or at least a convincing series victory, over the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL Western Conference finals.

The Hawks lost Game 3 on Tuesday, 5-1 at Kamloops.

The Blazers can tie the best-of-seven series with a win at home in the 7 p.m. Wednesday Game 4.

Portland scored the first goal Tuesday, with Ty Rattie connecting on a power play 5:32 into the contest.

Kamloops squared the count late in the period, also on a power play, and took the lead for good 1:06 into the second period.

The Blazers, playing before a crowd of 4,642 at Interior Savings Centre, had a 5-1 lead before the end of the middle frame.

Hawks goalie Mac Carruth stopped 24 of 29 shots in the game, after blanking Kamloops 4-0 in Game 2 at Memorial Coliseum.

Portland fired 36 shots at Kamloops keeper Cole Cheveldave.