Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rattie Completes Hat Trick in OT as Portland Beats Americans, Takes 2-0 Lead: Rattie Scores in OT as Portland Beats Americans

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rattie Completes Hat Trick in OT as Portland Beats Americans, Takes 2-0 Lead: Rattie Scores in OT as Portland Beats Americans

Article excerpt

KENNEWICK, Wash. - Portland's Ty Rattie scored a short-handed goal at 7:58 of overtime to lead the Winterhawks to a thrilling 5-4 win Saturday over the Tri-City Americans in Western Hockey League playoff action.

The win gives the Winterhawks a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference final.

"It's pretty cool," said Rattie, who had three goals on the night. "Even if it wasn't a hat trick, OT goals are still like hat tricks no matter what.

"It's an exciting win. It's a huge two games and we are looking to take it back to Portland. Tri-City has a high-powered offence, a good defence and a great goalie. We're not going to take them lightly. We are going to play Game 3 like it's Game 1. We are a confident group and we are looking forward to it."

The series resumes Wednesday with Game 3 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

"We have had a tough time historically in this building," said Portland coach Mike Johnston, whose team also won the opening game of the series 5-4 in overtime. "This is big. It's really big. It was a very good game all the way around. I thought we had the edge in the play except on special teams. I thought we were the better team 5-on-5."

The Americans, who had a 4-2 lead in the third period, lost their fifth overtime game of the post-season.

"Its a big hole, no doubt," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller, whose team is trailing in a series by two games for the first time in the playoffs. "Face the facts, but if you look it from the perspective we could be up 2-0, the belief and will knowing we can come back is there. There is a lot of randomness in hockey.

"It's not like we've been standing in our own end and not had opportunities to score in all the overtimes. Sometimes it just doesn't go in."

With Derrick Pouliot in the penalty box for slashing at 6:43 of overtime, the Americans were cycling the puck in Portland's end, but a turnover at the blue-line had Rattie heading up ice and putting the game winner past Tri-City goalie Ty Rimmer.

"Great play and a nice shot coming back on the short side shelf," Hiller said. "Not many goalies probably would have got that one."

The Americans, who led from the start of the game, increased their lead to 4-2 at 4:52 of the third with a goal by Justin Feser, only to see the Winterhawks swoop in and tie the game with a pair of goals in the last 10 minutes of regulation. …

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