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Seasons on the line tonight in the WHL playoffs - Junior Hockey News
Published: Wednesday, 25 Apr 2012
By: Spencer Walsh
The Western Hockey League hosts two crucial Conference Final playoff contests tonight. In the Eastern Conference Final, The Edmonton Oil Kings will take on the Moose Jaw Warriors in Game 4 of their series at 7:00 MDT. Edmonton leads 3 games to 0 and would love to end the Warriors season on their own ice surface.
Over in the Western Conference, the Tri-City Americans will attempt to get back in their series against the Portland Winterhawks. The Americans will need to bring their "A" game on the road after dropping the first two games in overtime on home ice. The puck drops at 7:00 PDT.
The Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the Moose Jaw Warriors by the score of 6 to 1 in both Games 1 and 2. Michael St. Croix scored the eventual game-winner in the 3rd period last night, lifting them to a 3-2 win over the Warriors. James Henry scored with about 4 minutes to play in the 3rd to inch the Warriors with a goal, but it wasn't enough. Moose Jaw must win tonight to keep their season alive.
Meanwhile, the Portland Winterhawks are riding high after winning Games 1 and 2 in overtime. Mitch Topping forced overtime when tied the score at 4 with about 5 minutes to play in regulation. However, Portland skated off with a 5 to 4 triumph in Game 1 when Marcel Noebels tallied the game-winner 7:52 into overtime. In Game 2, Justin Feser staked Tri-City to a 4-2 lead when he scored with about 15 minutes remaining in the 3rd period. However, Portland rallied with goals from Joey Baker and Ty Rattie to force overtime. Rattie scored his third goal of the game, completing his hat trick in style when he notched the game-winner on a shorthanded breakaway 7:58 into overtime, lifting the Hawks to a 5-4 victory in Game 2.
The Ams and Hawks have had three days off to rest. Game 3 figures to be a great matchup. If Tri-City has any aspirations of winning the Western Conference, they have to slow down Portland's offensive attack. We shall see.
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