Kehler Stands Tall, Winterhawks Pull Ahead 3-2

The Winterhawks kept the energy going from Game 4 on Saturday when they returned to Prince George, BC. This one started similar to the last game, but this time the Cougars scored even earlier, just over a minute into the game. However, once again the Winterhawks were not deterred from an early deficit.
They responded well. Just over three minutes after the Cougars opened the scoring, Portland showed off their scoring depth, when fourth liner Brad Ginnell snapped home the tying goal from the slot, after a nifty move from Ilijah Colina. They weren’t done there.

They got another, on the Power Play, with under five minutes remaining in the period. Joachim Blichfeld notched one after a beautiful pass from Cody Glass, who rebounded nicely from a hit. Despite being outshot 18-10, the Winterhawks went into the first intermission with a lead.

Blichfeld wasn’t done though. After Game 4 hero, Matt Revel, pushed toward the net, and was taken down, Blichfeld was there to capitalize and put home his second. Just like that Portland was up 3-1, and cruising.

The Cougars were not backing down, and continued to put the pressure on Portland netminder Cole Kehler. Brogan O’Brien broke through for the Cougars halfway through the third to bring some life to the proceedings. Just over three minutes later Colby McAuley brought the game level again at 3-3. Uh oh, here we go again.
The lead was short-lived however, as Ryan Hughes put Portland back in front about one minute later. After all the scoring that’s happened in this series, Hughes was the third Winterhawks player to score their first goal in this game. That’s some good scoring depth. Momma Hughes approved of the goal as well.

Now they just had to hold on against a team hungry not to lose on home ice. Everything was at stake. Much like he had done all game, Kehler stood tall once more. When all was said and done he stopped 48 shots from the Cougars, insanity.

Cody Glass was able to put home an insurance goal after the puck went off the referee, and that was that. A 5-3 win, on the road, to take a 3-2 series, when you’re the underdog is pretty sweet. This series is by no means a slam dunk, but Portland has positioned themselves really well.
Game 6 will be Monday night in Veterans Memorial Coliseum back in Portland, and like the last two, it surely won’t disappoint. They haven’t done it in spectacular fashion, but the Winterhawks have showed incredible poise and perseverance this early in the playoffs.

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