Much like the 1st meeting between these two teams, they got off to a slow start. That trapping defensive style that London plays is a little tough to watch sometimes. However, the 'Hawks were patient, for the most part. Shots ended up 14-9 for London.
The 2nd period also was like the round robin game - each team scored a goal. The London goal was on the powerplay, and came off of a broken play. It seems like all playoffs that's been the only way to beat Carruth: funny bounces, broken plays, and perfect shots. We've seen several plays like this one - a blocked shot that came right back to the shooter. Carruth was playing the initial shot, so he was drawn out of position for the second shot. That goal brought Max Domi to a final statline of 5 games / 1G / 2A / -9.
The Portland goal was a nice play with Wotherspoon shooting from the half boards with Leipsic screening in front. Leipsic was right on the border of interference with the goalie, but the play was ruled legal. It looked to me like #28 almost was holding the defenceman, pulling him into a screen position. I don't think I've seen a forward do that before.
Shots for the period were 17-9. The 'Hawks were buzzing for the last 6 or 7 minutes of the period - looking pretty good moving forward. It was pretty fortunate that the 'Hawks were carrying the play, as on a rush Ryan Rupert slashed Carruth on the back of the calf on the way by the net - right where the goalie has no padding. He seemed like he was in a good amount of pain, but didn't have any work for several minutes after the slash.
The 3rd period was more of a chess match, until Rattie scored a highlight reel goal midway through. The release on that kid is world class - the goalie never stood a chance. Walked in from the half wall, D man in decent position, but Rattie let an unbeatable shot loose - picked the top corner. Perfect shot.
After that Rattie goal, it mostly came down to bend-but-don't-break, limit their chances. Carruth's experience & maturity really showed in this stage of the game. He got some help, which was crucial, but staying cool, calm, and composed really payed off. Shots ended up 12-8 London.
Upon seeing the replay of the last frantic seconds, a key play was Rattie batting a puck out of the air into the corner using his glove. The biggest players make the biggest plays in the biggest games. That is Ty Rattie.
Carruth / Rattie post game
real time fan discussion
I'm bummed ... only one more game to watch our overagers and Ty and several others, gonna miss 'em, hope they go out in great style in Sunday. I think we'll see their best no matter the outcome, GO HAWKS! I'm outta here guys and gals ... thanks Dylan!
“He was great tonight,” Hawks acting head coach Travis Green said of Carruth, who stopped 34 of 35 shots against a Knights team that beat Saskatoon 6-1 in Thursday’s tiebreaker to reach the semifinal. “I thought it was his best game of the tournament, and just a great performance by a guy we’ve leaned on for a long time now.”
Carruth faced heavy fire late in the game, and came up with huge saves on London stars Max Domi and Olli Maata in the frantic final 90 seconds. Afterward, he deflected credit toward the guys in front of him.
“(London) brought a lot of pressure late but our guys did great,” said Carruth. “They blocked shots, took sticks away and let me see the puck.”
Carruth was up to the challenge, and the 20-year-old goalie enters the championship game playing very well. Since allowing seven goals against Halifax, he has allowed six in the past three games — three to London, two to Saskatoon and one to London in the semifinal.The Canadian Press
Portland’s victory now sets up a dream final involving Winterhawks defenceman Seth Jones, the No. 1 ranked North American skater ahead of next month’s NHL draft, and Mooseheads forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, who are second and third on the list. Halifax beat Portland 7-4 during round robin play.
Globe and Mail
Winterhawks defenceman Seth Jones said the final moments were tense as London, which fought back from a 3-1 series deficit in the Ontario Hockey League final and scored the series clincher with less than a second to go in Game 7, crashed the Portland net looking for the equalizer.
“My heart was beating 1,000 beats a minute and I was out there doing whatever I could to keep the puck out of the net — sliding around everywhere,” said a relieved Jones. “It was definitely a big win for us tonight. We fought hard (but) it was a little closer than I wanted.”whl.ca
Carruth, a 20-year-old from Shorewood, MN, turned in a masterful performance, stopping 34 of 35 shots he faced, including making several outstanding saves over the final few minutes of the third period as London poured on the pressure.
“As a team, we’ve had big games in the past, and that’s what we draw from,” said Carruth, deflecting praise to his team mates. “We got off to a slow start but the boys played well late in the game, and as the game wore on, we were the better team.”