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Winterhawks take WHL finals lead with 3-1 road victory

EDMONTON — The Portland Winterhawks took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Hockey League finals with a 3-1 road victory Tuesday over the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Portland scored three unanswered goals in the first period and rode Mac Carruth's goalkeeping down the stretch for the win before a crowd of 8,513 at Rexall Place.

Game 4 is 6 p.m. PT Wednesday, also at Edmonton.

Taylor Leier gave Portland the lead 4:39 into the game. Ty Rattie scored at 8:14 to move into a tie for the WHL all-time lead of 47 career playoff goals. Oliver Bjorkstrand added to the Hawks' margin with his goal at 15:48.

Edmonton's Michael St. Croix scored at 9:13 of the second period.

The Winterhawks went 0 for 3 on power plays, and Edmonton was 0 for 1.

39-27 edge in shots, after Portland outshot them 10-8 in the opening period. Twenty of Edmonton's shots came in the third period, when the home team threatened several times to score and Portland had six shots.

The Oil Kings pulled goalie Laurent Brossoit with 57 seconds remaining, but Carruth again held his ground in the crease.

Bjorkstrand assisted on Portland's first score, Nic Petan set up Rattie, and Troy Rutkowski and Taylor Leier picked up assists on the Hawks' final tally.