After getting the first two at home, the Vancouver Giants went to Spokane with the hopes of finishing the series. Spokane got on the board first very late in the second but saw the Giants score early in the third to tie it up. Spokane went ahead in the middle of the frame but saw back-to-back penalty kills, which the Giants finally were able to cash in on late in the third to send the game to overtime. Spokane sent the crowd home happy midway through the first overtime as they topped the Giants 3-2 in overtime and pulled within a game as they played the next night.
Spokane bagged goals in the first and second period as they looked to the previous night’s game to gain momentum. The Giants, not to be outdone, scored three times in six minutes during the third to pull ahead of the Chiefs. With just under four minutes in regulation, Spokane notched the equalizer, which again sent the game into overtime. This time it was the Giants with the heroics. Just over seven minutes into the extra frame, the Giants scored to split the series in Spokane, but more importantly, out the Giants up 3-1 in the series, meaning Spokane must win all four remaining games to be able to take the series.
In Edmonton, following a split in Prince Albert, the Oil Kings trounced the Raiders 5-1 to take a series lead in their matchup. Edmonton scored four straight goals in the second period, including a powerplay goal, before the Raiders finally got on the board. One more powerplay goal by the Oil Kings capped off the night.
The next day the game was much tighter. After a scoreless first period, Prince Albert rattled off one midway through the first period and then early in the third. Edmonton was not able to recover except one goal to deadlock the series again. With both squads splitting the series in each other’s home arena, the series will go at least six games.
The Winterhawks are gearing up for the Bantam draft on May 2 starting at 7:30am. Players are draft eligible if they are a 2004 date, come from one of the nineteen westernmost states or from the four western provinces of one of the two territories. Portland has eight picks in the draft. Due to trades, the Hawks will look to the third round before their first selection. The eight will help round out the fifty-man protected list. Many of the Winterhawks have been list players of recent day and the draft players are not eligible to play more than five games with the Winterhawks until their season is completely over. They will then be able to play as many games as they can be slotted for.