KAMLOOPS, British Columbia After giving up five goals in the second period of a 5-1 loss on Tuesday, the Portland Winterhawks regained defensive focus. And how.
Mac Carruth picked up his second shutout in a three-game span, as the Hawks beat the Kamloops Blazers 3-0 to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series for the Western Conference title in the Western Hockey League.
Carruth made 29 saves, and the Hawks killed four penalties.
It was Carruth's fourth shutout of the 2013 playoffs and the seventh in his WHL career.
Nic Petan gave Portland the lead on a power play 2:09 into the game, Seth Jones built on that with a goal at 11:43 of the first period, and Petan scored another insurance goal at 1:35 of the final period.
Ty Rattie assisted on each goal. He has 88 career postseason points, third on the WHL all-time list.
Petan, Jones and Troy Rutkowski also had an assist before the crowd of 5,164 at Interior Savings Centre.
The Winterhawks can end the series and move into the WHL finals for the third year in a row with another victory over Kamloops.
Game 5 is 7 p.m. Friday at the Rose Garden.
In the Eastern Conference finals, Edmonton bounced back for a 7-3 win at Calgary on Wednesday to square that series at 2-2. Game 5 is at Edmonton on Friday.