Ryan Johansen registered a hat trick as the Portland Winterhawks defeated the Kelowna Rockets 6-3 Sunday to even their second round series at 1-1 in front of 8,053 fans at the Rose Garden.
In addition to Johansen’s hat trick, Riley Boychuk, Joe Morrow and Ty Rattie all had three points apiece in the victory, with the Hawks nearly doubling Kelowna’s shot total, 52-28, including 19-5 in the third period.
After Kelowna’s Shane McColgan put the Rockets up 1-0 in the first period, the Winterhawks exploded for four second period goals on 20 shots.
The Hawks evened the game at the 6:55 mark of the second period Sven Bartschi won a faceoff in the Kelowna zone and fed Rattie, who fired it part Rockets netminder Adam Brown to even the game at 1-1. Portland then took a lead at the 9:21 mark when Craig Cunningham tipped in a Taylor Aronson blast from the point to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
Just under two minutes after Cunningham’s goal, Kelowna’s Jessey Astles stepped out of the penalty box and took a stretch pass for a breakaway, which he converted to tie the game at 2-2. But once again the Winterhawks took a lead when Rattie fed Johansen with a gorgeous saucer pass over the stick of a Kelowna defender on a 2-on-1 break, which Johansen then slammed past Brown to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead at the 15:29 mark.
Johansen then scored again with a critical goal with just 8.5 seconds left in the period to give Portland a 4-2 lead heading into the third.
Winterhawks defenseman Joe Morrow extended the lead to 5-2 at the 4:26 mark of the third period when he skated into the slot and fired one high to give the Hawks a three-goal cushion. The Rockets cut the lead to 5-3 at the 7:08 mark when Colton Sisson scored on a power play, but Johansen put the game away with his third of the night on a power play with 1:37 remaining.
The Winterhawks outshot Kelowna 52-28, with Mac Carruth stopping 25 shots to pick up the win. Brown made 46 saves on the 52 Hawks shots he faced. The Hawks were 1-3 on the power play and 3-4 on the penalty kill.
The series now shifts to Kelowna, with Game 3 Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Game 4 Wednesday at 7 p.m. the two teams will be back at the Rose Garden Friday night at 7 p.m. for Game 5.