Rockets' centre Nick Merkley dropped a 3-2 decision to Nic Petan and the Portland Winterhawks in Game 2 of the WHL's Western Conference final Saturday at Prospera Place.

Winterhawks draw even with Rockets

Nic Petan's highlight-reel goal pushes Portland to win in Game 2 of Western Conference final

Nic Petan’s goal in the final minute of the second period stood up as the winner as the Portland Winterhawks edged the Kelowna Rockets 3-2 in WHL playoff action Saturday night at Prospera Place.

Petan roofed a backhand past Rockets netminder Jackson Whistle at 19:12 of the second, as the Winterhawks evened up the Western Conference final at one game each.

Portland jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Paul Bittner and Dominic Turgeon, before the Rockets got even on second period power play markers from Rourke Chartier and Dillon Dube.

After a 3-2 win for the Rockets in the series opener Friday, Kelowna captain Madison Bowey said his team didn’t come up with a comparable effort in Game 2.

“I think we had too many passengers,” Bowey said. “We didn’t have enough guys going the right way and tonight’s game turned out not to be in our favour. They took advantage of their opportunities. It’s going to be a battle now, we knew it was going to be a long series, it’s time to step it up for us older guys.”

The Rockets outshot the Winterhawks 40-32 in front of 5,681 fans at Prospera Place.

Games 3 and 4 are set for Portland on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.


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