AMERICANS AND WINTERHAWKS MOVING ON – The Tri-City Americans and the Portland Winterhawks will meet in the 2012 Kal Tire WHL Western Conference Championship series after both teams prevailed in seventh and deciding games in their respective second-round series’ in WHL playoff action on Wednesday night.
AMERICANS 3, CHIEFS 2
Malte Stromwall and Brendan Shinnimin scored 1:04 apart late in the third period to lift the Tri-City Americans to a 3-2 win over the visiting Spokane Chiefs in Game 7 of their Kal Tire WHL Western Conference semi-final series on Wednesday in Kennewick, WA.
With the victory, the Ams eliminate the Chiefs and move on to the Western Conference final for the third time in the last five seasons.
Brian Williams scored his second goal of the post-season and added an assist for the Americans, who trailed 2-1 in the third period before Stromwall and Shinnimin’s quick strikes late in the proceedings. Ty Rimmer turned aside 17 of 19 shots he faced to post his eighth win of the playoffs.
Dominik Uher and Mitch Holmberg – with his 11th post-season marker – scored for the Chiefs, who also saw Mike Aviani stopped on a first-period penalty shot attempt. Eric Williams turned in a valiant 45-save performance in a losing cause.
Tri-City wins best-of-seven series 4-3
WINTERHAWKS 2, BLAZERS 0
Mac Carruth stopped 32 shots to claim his second shutout of the post-season as the Portland Winterhawks blanked the visiting Kamloops Blazers 2-0 in Game 7 of their Kal Tire WHL Western Conference semi-final series on Wednesday in Portland, OR.
The victory sees the Winterhawks advance to their second straight Western Conference final appearance. The Hawks are the defending Western Conference champions.
Marcel Noebels scored his second goal of the playoffs just 1:01 into the game and Brendan Leipsic added an insurance marker midway through the third period for the Winterhawks, who held the Blazers scoreless on four power play chances.
Cam Lanigan turned in a 37-save performance in the defeat for the Blazers, who fell just short of becoming just the second WHL team to overturn an 0-3 series deficit to win a playoff series.
Portland wins best-of-seven series 4-3