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Portland beats Edmonton, wins WHL final

EDMONTON, Alberta — Ty Rattie had three goals to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-1 Game 6 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings to claim the Western Hockey League title on Sunday.

It was the third straight year the Winterhawks had advanced to the final, but first time they’ve claimed the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

Last season the Winterhawks lost to the Oil Kings in a 4-3 series decision, and the previous year to the Kootenay Ice by a 4-1 margin.

Two of Rattie’s goals came while the Winterhawks were short-handed. Oliver Bjorkstrand and Taylor Leier also had goals for Portland.

“Those are two of my favorite goals of my career,” Rattie said. “My dad told me before the game that big players come out in big games and I wanted to step up for my team.”

Travis Ewanyk had the lone goal for Edmonton.

The Western Hockey League in November suspended Winterhawks coach and general manager Mike Johnston for the rest of the season, fined the team $200,000 and took away several draft picks Wednesday because of player-benefit violations over the past four seasons.

Top assistant Travis Green took over as head coach.

“We had a real determined group this year. We had a real mature group this year for such a young team,” Green said. “You learn a lot when you get here twice and lose.

“I think we did a lot of learning and our group was real even-keeled this year.”

Portland goalie Mac Carruth, in his third straight appearance in the finals, stopped 25 shots, while Laurent Brossoit turned away 20 for the Oil Kings.

“It’s a tough way to go out but we’re very proud of the group of kids in there,” Edmonton coach Derek Laxdal. “The kids were focused today to start the game, we earned some scoring chances.

“Without the short-handed goals it could be a different game. Portland really shut down our power play in the series.”

The hat trick gave Rattie 20 goals this postseason, tied for fourth all-time in goals over a single season’s WHL playoffs, alongside Dan Spring of the 1971 Oil Kings and Doug Morrison of the 1979 Lethbridge Broncos.

The Winterhawks advanced to the Memorial Cup later this month in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

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