The Portland Winterhawks finished up the round robin portion of the MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 4-2 win over the host Saskatoon Blades Wednesday at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.
With the victory the Hawks now advance to the semifinal Friday, where they’ll take on the winner of tomorrow night’s tiebreaker between the Blades and London Knights, champions of the Ontario Hockey League.
After a scoreless first period, the Hawks struck 6:44 into the second when Derrick Pouliot took a shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Saskatoon goaltender Andrey Makarov to make it 1-0. The Blades tied it at the 11:20 mark on a power play goal by Shane McColgan to make it 1-1, which remained the score going into the third.
Portland then took control of the game in the final frame, regaining the lead 4:08 into the period when Chase De Leo took a feed from Oliver Bjorkstrand and fired the puck past Makarov, who’d lost his stick moments before, to make it 2-1. Just 2:19 later Brendan Leipsic sniped one from the slot over Makarov’s glove to give the Hawks a 3-1 advantage. The Hawks then made it a 4-1 game at the 10:16 mark when Ty Rattie blistered a shot off a rush past Makarov.
Josh Nicholls added one for Saskatoon at the 16:27 mark to cut it to 4-2, but that was as close as they’d get.
Mac Carruth earned the win in net with 29 saves on 31 shots. Makarov took the loss for Saskatoon, allowing four goals on 34 shots.