Winterhawks finish sweep of Kelowna

Kamloops up next in semifinal round



The Portland Winterhawks finished off the Kelowna Rockets with a 5-3 win on Thursday in British Columbia to sweep the first-round Western Hockey League playoff series, 4-0.

But Ty Rattie and his linemates probably wish they could keep playing the Rockets.

Rattie scored four goals on Thursday and finished the four games with 10 goals and three assists, setting franchise records for goals and points (13) in a best-of-7 playoff series.

Next up Portland will face the Kamloops Blazers in a best-of-7 conference semifinal series. The Winterhawks have the home-ice advantage and will host Games 1 and 2 on April 6-7 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Rookie Taylor Leier scored the game-winner for Portland, deflecting a Joe Morrow shot past Kelowna goalie Aaron Brown to put the Winterhawks ahead 4-3 with just over seven minutes to play. Oliver Gabriel won a battle for the puck in the corner and passed to Morrow for the shot.

Portland never trailed on Thursday. But Kelowna answered each of Rattie’s first three goals as Brett Bulmer produced a goal and two assists for the Rockets in front of 6,019 fans at Prospera Place.

Sven Bartschi assisted on the first two goals, and finished the series with two goals and nine assists. Marcel Noebels, who centers the top line, finished with eight assists in the series.

Portland goalie Mac Carruth made 29 saves in his 22nd career WHL playoff win.

• Brandon beat Calgary 3-2 in overtime, eliminating the Hitmen. Camas resident Trevor Cheek had one assist in the game for Calgary. Also on Thursday, Edmonton completed a sweep of defending WHL champion Kootenay.