May 6, 2014, EDMONTON, Alta. (ISN) – Edgars Kulda gave the Edmonton Oil Kings their first lead of the series and they went on to complete their comeback, scoring the game’s final three goals in a 3-2 win over the Portland Winterhawks in Game 3 of the WHL finals.
Three games into the series, the Portland Winterhawks have taken an early lead in each contest. Just 2:38 into the opening period, Chase De Leo would swing around and fire a shot on net from the face-off dot and it would find twine in the top-right corner, past the glove of goaltender Tristan Jarry. Derrick Pulliot and Taylor Leier had the assists.
In another case of deja vu, the Oil Kings found themselves in a two-goal hole shortly following the first score of the game. In Game 2 on Sunday night, Portland scored twice in the first 3:14 of the game. Tonight, Portland took the 2-0 lead at 3:30 of the opening period.
It was Mathew Dumba who scored that goal, his second of the series, with a wrister from the slot. Brendan Leipsic recorded the assist.
Towards the end of the opening period the Oil Kings began to gain some momentum. They had a few quality chances in the last five minutes of play, outshooting Portland 19-10 in the first 20 minutes. Leading up to tonight the Oil Kings had not held the shot advantage in any period other than the third (Games 1 and 2).
That momentum carried into the second period as Edmonton cut the Portland lead in half just 4:11 into the middle frame. On the power play, Mitch Moroz dug the puck out of the corner and found Curtis Lazar at the face-off dot. Lazar fed Henrik Samuelsson with a cross-ice pass and the Oil Kings forward buried the shot behind Corbin Boes.
The Oil Kings tied things up a few minutes later on a breakaway goal. Shortly after an effective penalty kill, the Oil Kings got a breakaway opportunity with Luke Bertolucci streaking ahead of Dumba. The Portland defenceman pushed Bertolucci to the ice from behind, but the Oil King moved quickly to his feet, made a great move on Boes and netted the equalizer at 11:04.
A surging Oil Kings nearly took the lead minutes later. A scramble out in front of the net resulted in Samuelsson scoring, or so the crowd thought. The goal was waved off after an official review due to the puck being kicked in.
Edmonton took the lead for real at 13:13 of the final frame. Moroz found Edgars Kulda on a rush and the Oil Kings had their first lead of the series.
The Oil Kings were able to hang on as they won their first game of the series and now trail Portland 2-1 in the best of seven. Tickets for Game 4 are on sale now at oilkings.ca, the Rexall Place box office and all Ticketmaster locations.