Edmonton Oil Kings captain Mark Pysyk was the hero on Thursday night at Rexall Place in a dramatic 4-3 win over the Portland Winterhawks in game five of the WHL Final.
With less than a minute to go in a tied game, the captain caught a puck in the neutral zone, skated it into Winterhawks territory and rifled a wrist shot over the glove hand of Portland goaltender Mac Carruth for the game-winning goal and the 3-2 series lead.
Jordan Peddle had two goals and three points for the Oil Kings, with Griffin Reinhart also finding the back of the net. Marcel Noebels, Ty Rattie and Sven Bartschi had the goals for the Winterhawks, who are now in a must-win situation heading back home.
Noebels opened the scoring just 1:45 into the first period, before Peddle responded with two minutes remaining before the break. The Oil Kings took the lead on a Reinhart point shot 4:44 into the second period, but Rattie replied less than a minute later with his 19th goal of the playoffs. The home team kept coming though, with Peddle scoring his second of the night at 7:20, however the Winterhawks weren't done. Bartschi potted his 14th of the postseason at the 5:07 mark of the third period, and it looked like this one would be headed for overtime, before Pysyk had his big moment at 19:04.
Laurent Brossoit made 27 saves for Edmonton in the win, while Carruth stopped 31 shots at the other end of the ice.
Game six goes in Portland on Saturday night, with the Ed Chynoweth Cup on the line. (jk)
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