Hawks Even Conference Final With 3-2 Win in Game 2

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Graham Kendrick 

The Portland Winterhawks earned a 3-2 win over the Kelowna Rockets Saturday in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.

The series is now tied 1-1, and will resume Tuesday with Game 3 in Portland at the Moda Center at 7 p.m.

The Hawks opened the scoring on a power play 16:33 into the first with a tic-tac-toe passing play. Adam Henry fed a pass from the point to Chase De Leo on the doorstep, who then fired it across the crease to Paul Bittner, who scored into an open net for a 1-0 lead.

It remained 1-0 until the 11:46 mark of the second when Evan Weinger came streaking into the Kelowna zone with the puck, and while he was stopped by netminder Jackson Whistle, Miles Koules collected the puck behind the net and fed Dominic Turgeon in the slot, who fired the puck past Whistle for a 2-0 lead.

Just under two minutes later with the Rockets on a power play, Rourke Chartier scored to get Kelowna on the board and cut the Portland lead to 2-1. They evened the game with another power play goal at 15:51 from Dillon Dube to tie it at 2-2.

With under a minute to go in the period Nic Petan drove into the Kelowna zone, and with a defender draped on him Petan did a spin move and put a backhand past Whistle for a 3-2 lead the Hawks took into the third. The goal extended Petan’s playoff scoring streak to 13 games, with at least one point in every postseason game so far.

The two teams traded chances in the third, but Adin Hill stood tall in net for the Hawks as he slammed the door to give Portland the win. Hill finished with 38 saves on 40 Kelowna shots. Whistle finished with three goals allowed on 32 Portland shots.