PORTLAND, OR — Ryan Rehill scored the overtime winner, as the Kamloops Blazers (20-14-4-2) prevailed 4-3 over the Portland Winterhawks (20-18-2-1).
Despite an eight-hour overnight bus ride, the Blazers had a good start. They outshot the Winterhawks early, but Adin Hill was solid in goal.
While the Blazers were on a power play late in the period, Ryan Rehill stepped up and laid a hard check on Dominic Turgeon. Rehill fought Jack Dougherty and Dougherty was given an instigator on the play.
The Blazers scored on the five on three power play. Matt Revel picked up a rebound and scored his 12th goal of the season with 56 seconds to play in the period.
The Winterhawks came right back to tie the game shorthanded. Skyler McKenzie kept the puck on an odd man rush and put a shot past goaltender Dylan Ferguson on the blocker side to make it 1-1 through the first period.
Matthew Campese gave the Blazers the lead 6:32into the second period. He stole a puck from a Winterhawks defender and beat goaltender Adin Hill on a breakaway.
Evan Weinger tied the game up on a breakaway. He rifled a shot just under the crossbar with 6:31 to play in the period to make it 2-2.
Quinn Benjafield gave the Blazers the lead with 46.5 seconds left in the period. He put a shot on goal on the rush that fooled Hill and went five-hole. The Blazers took the 3-2 lead into the third period.
In the third period, the Winterhawks had offensive zone time, but limited chances. The Blazers defended well, only giving up eight shots in the period.
Rihards Bukarts tied the game up with 43 seconds left in the game. He put a shot on goal that beat Ferguson high to make it 3-3 and send the game to overtime.
Ryan Rehill was the hero, scoring his sixth of the season on a blast off the post and in to make it a 4-3 final.
Dylan Ferguson earned his third win of the season with 29 saves. Adin Hill stopped 26 shots to take the loss.
The Blazers were 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Winterhawks finished 0-for-2.
These two teams will meet again on Sunday at 5:00pm at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
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