Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Winterhawks clinch berth in semi-final

Press Release

The Winterhawks’ offence came to life in the third period, recording three unanswered goals to help Portland secure a 4-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades as well as a berth in the semi-final of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Saskatoon Blades netminder Andrey Makarov was tested often in the early going, facing five shots on goal in the first four minutes of play. Makarov standed on his head throughout the opening barrage.

Following an injury to Taylor Leier, who was helped off the ice after a hit, play got very physical with both clubs dishing out solid bodychecks.

The Winterhawks were the first to get on the scoreboard at 6:44 of the second period. Defenseman Derrick Pouliot let a shot go from the point that took an awkward bounce before finding the back of the net.

The Blades tied the score at one on the power-play at 11:20. Shane McColgan redirected an Erik Benoit shot behind Mac Carruth.

Despite a four-minute power-play window at the end of the second period, Portland was unable to capitalize. Both teams retreated to their dressing rooms tied at one.

The Winterhawks were able to get the lead 4:08 into the third frame. Chase De Leo was insistent in the crease and eventually, his efforts paid off as he registered his second goal of the tournament.

Portland added another marker less than two minutes later. Brendan Leipsic made a little hesitation move before letting a quick wrist-shot go that found the top corner of the net.

Ty Rattie added another marker at the midway point of the third period to put Portland up 4-1. Josh Nicholls was able to get one back for the Blades, but it was too little too late.

With Portland’s victory over the Blades, the Halifax Mooseheads clinch a spot in the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup final which will be played on Sunday.

The tie-breaker game of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup will see the London Knights battle the Saskatoon Blades. The game can be seen live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports starting at 8 pm ET / 9 pm AT.

 (Nathan can be reached at

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