Sven Bartschi scored twice as the Portland Winterhawks defeated the visiting Kamloops Blazers 4-1 Saturday to take a 2-0 lead in their second round playoff series in front of 6,445 fans at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Like Game 1, it was a big third period that led the Hawks to the victory, as they scored three goals in the final frame to pull away for the win.
The two teams played a scoreless first period, and the game remained 0-0 through most of the second, with the Hawks finally breaking through for a goal with just 46.4 seconds in the second when Sven Bartschi scored to give Portland a 1-0 lead going into the third.
After the late second period goal, Portland then got two early third period goals as Taylor Leier and Cam Reid scored back-to-back in the first 1:15 of the period to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead. The Blazers got one back 39 seconds after Reid’s goal as Chase Souto got them on the board to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Hawks got that one back at the 7:12 mark when Bartschi got his second of the game while on a two-man advantage to put Portland back up by three, 4-1. Through a physical third period, the Hawks maintained the lead to finish with the win and take the 2-0 series lead.
Mac Carruth was outstanding in net, making 39 saves on 40 Kamloops shots to pick up the win.
Cam Lanigan started in net for Kamloops in place of Cole Cheveldave, who was injured in Friday’s Game 1 in a collision with Winterhawks forward Oliver Gabriel, who sat out tonight’s game due to suspension.
The series now shifts to Kamloops for Game 3 Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Game 4 Wednesday at 7 p.m.