Mac Carruth stopped all 32 shots he faced as the Portland Winterhawks defeated the Kamloops Blazers 2-0 in Game 7 Wednesday to advance to the Western Conference Final for the second straight season.
The Winterhawks go on to play the Tri-City Americans in the conference final, who won their own Game 7 tonight at home over the Spokane Chiefs. That series opens Friday and Saturday in Kennewick, WA.
The Winterhawks didn’t waste any time getting on the board, as just 1:01 into the game Sven Bartschi found Marcel Noebels alone in the slot, who fired it past Kamloops netminder Cam Lanigan for the early 1-0 lead, which would be the only goal of the first period.
The Hawks generated numerous chances in the second and outshot Kamloops 12-7, but neither team found the back of the net and the score remained 1-0 going into the third period.
The score remained 1-0 until the 9:49 mark of the third when Cam Reid brought the puck into the Kamloops zone on a two-on-one and fed Brendan Leipsic, who beat Lanigan to make it 2-0.
From there, Carruth and the Winterhawks slammed the door, finishing with the 2-0 win. It was his second shutout of the playoffs and third for his career in the postseason.
The Hawks were 0-1 on the power play, and a perfect 4-4 on the penalty kill.