The 2013 Memorial Cup continued on Wednesday, May 22, as the Portland Winterhawks defeated the Saskatoon Blades by a score of 4-2.
Four different players scored goals for the Winterhawks, including Ty Rattie, who netted his fourth of the Memorial Cup. Portland superstar and future No. 1 draft choice Seth Jones added an assist and helped contribute to a dominant defensive performance by the Winterhawks.
Goaltender Mac Carruth stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced.
On the opposite end, Andrey Makarov was sensational for two periods, but his defense fell apart during the third. He stopped 30 of the 34 shots sent his way, but receiving two goals of support wasn't enough in this high-scoring affair.
So what does all of this mean?
Here's how it will all play out.
Full Memorial Cup Schedule
|Tiebreaker:||Saskatoon Blades||London Knights||Thursday, May 23||8 p.m. ET|
|Semifinal:||TBD||Portland Winterhawks||Friday, May 24||8 p.m. ET|
|Final:||TBD||Halifax Mooseheads||Sunday, May 26||7 p.m. ET|
The first period of play was eventful, but both goaltenders stood their ground. The two sides combined for 18 first-period shots on goal, thus attacking the net and looking to take the early advantage over the opposition.
Neither goaltender let that happen.
The Portland Winterhawks got off to a hot start with 11 first-period shots on goal, but Saskatoon Blades goaltender Andrey Makarov stood his ground. He sent every shot he faced back in the other direction, thus keeping things scoreless after one.
The second period wasn't so kind.
Derrick Pouliot continued his dominant play at the Memorial Cup, finding the back of the net in an unassisted manner. This brings Pouliot's point total to five in three games at the event, which has some questioning if we're sleeping on the less prolific Portland defenseman.
Saskatoon wasted no time in adding to the intrigue.
With a beautiful display of puck movement, Shane McColgan converted a power-play goal off of assists from Erik Benoit and Josh Nicholls. This tied the game at 1-1, which was a score that stuck until the third period.
And then Portland took over.
Chase De Leo netted his second goal of the 2013 Memorial Cup, receiving assists from Oliver Bjorkstrand and Tyler Wotherspoon at the 4:08 mark of the third period. Just over two minutes later, Brendan Leipsic scored off of assists from Nicolas Petan and Seth Jones.
Jones, the NHL's top prospect, finally gets on the board in this game.
Makarov played a magnificent game in net, but there just wasn't enough defensive support. Portland piled on the shots and, without any counterattack from Saskatoon, the Winterhawks were able to strike again and again.
At the 10:16 mark, they capped off a three-goal third period when Ty Rattie found the back of the net for the fourth time during the 2013 Memorial Cup. Petan put up his second assist of the game to make it 4-1.
Josh Nicholls scored his fourth goal of the Memorial Cup with just over three minutes remaining, but it was a case of too little, too late, as the score remained 4-2. Saskatoon's defense was nonexistent, and a strong performance by Makarov was thus lost.
This was a very impressive outing from Portland's star-studded group.