PORTLAND — Not since the spring of 2010 have the Portland Winterhawks missed the Western Hockey League championship series. Still, the team's first season under the guidance of Jamie Kompon was a success in some significant ways.
The message coming from the Portland Winterhawks after Game 4 of the Western Hockey League's Western Conference finals — a game they lost 3-2 — was that their series with the Kelowna Rockets is exactly what they expected.
After two tight-checking, close-to-the-sweater games to open the Western Conference Finals, the Portland Winterhawks put seven goals past Kelowna goalies on Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.
After two, tense, tight checking battles saw the teams split 3-2 verdicts, Portland and Kelowna hit the Moda Center ice on Tuesday and Wednesday for 7 p.m. games that figure to gain intensity as they progress.
Nic Petan delivered a special goal in the second period and goalie Adin Hill was strong throughout as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Kelowna Rockets 3-2 on Saturday to even the Western Hockey League Western Conference Finals.