Brad Ross had four goals as the Portland Winterhawks won Game 3 of their second round series against the Kamloops Blazers 5-2 to take a 3-0 lead in the series. Game 4 is tomorrow in Kamloops at 7 p.m.
It was the first career playoff hat trick for Ross, as he scored two shorthanded goals, one on the power play, and one even strength. Ross also has four shorthanded goals already in the playoffs, a team record for one playoff year.
It was also the second four-goal game by a Winterhawk during the postseason, after Ty Rattie had four in the Game 4 win over Kelowna in the first round.
Ross opened the scoring just 3:11 into the game with his power play goal to give Portland the early 1-0 lead. The Blazers evened it at the 15:53 mark on a goal by Brendan Ranford, as the two teams went into the second period tied 1-1.
Early in the second, the Hawks scored two shorthanded goals just 33 seconds apart, as Taylor Leier and Ross pushed Portland’s lead to 3-1. Leier’s goal was his fifth of the postseason, and it was the first time in team history the Hawks have scored two shorthanded goals in one period in a playoff game.
The Blazers cut the lead to just one when Colin Smith scored a power play goal at the 16:11 mark to make it 3-2. Any momentum Kamloops looked to gain with the goal ended when Ross scored just 48 seconds later to give Portland a 4-2 lead going into the third period.
The score remained 4-2 through most of the third period, until there were just 37 seconds remaining, when Ross scored a shorthanded goal into an empty net to give the Hawks the 5-2 win.
Mac Carruth picked up his seventh win of the playoffs in net with a terrific game, stopping 38 of 40 Kamloops shots.
Kamloops netminder Cam Lanigan made 24 saves on the 28 Portland shots he faced. Lanigan started his second straight game in goal for the Blazers in place of Cole Cheveldave, who was injured in Game 2 in a collision with Portland’s Oliver Gabriel.
Portland was 1-4 on the power play, and 8-9 on the penalty kill, with the three shorthanded goals.