By Jim Beseda

The Portland Winterhawks didn’t score first Saturday night and they didn’t score last, but they did score the most.

And left wing Sven Bartschi was in on all of it.

Bartshci had a goal and two assists as the Winterhawks rallied for a 3-2 WHL playoff victory over Spokane and took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference championship series before a crowd of 9,486 at the Rose Garden.

The Winterhawks can close out the series with a victory in Game 6 Monday at the Spokane Arena. If necessary, Game 7 is scheduled for Tuesday at the Rose Garden.

Trailing 1-0, Bartschi scored the game-tying goal on a deflection at 19:27 of the second period and then assisted on third-period goals by Ty Rattie and Craig Cunningham as the Winterhawks notched their third come-from-behind win in the series.

“I thought that was a phenomenal hockey game,” Portland general manager and head coach Mike Johnston said. “If you’re paying money to watch hockey, you got your money’s worth today out there. That was a really entertaining game.”

Johnston also gave credit to Bartshci, the 18-year-old Swiss skater whose stock in the upcoming NHL draft was on the rise after Saturday’s performance.

“Bartshci was our best player, for sure,” Johnston said. “You look at all the scouts that were here tonight -– there’s probably 20 to 25 scouts here –- and I thought he stood out and showed those guys that, ‘Hey, I’m ready for anything.’

“He’s learning how to play this North American game, he’s learning how to battle, and I really like that in his game, because he’s so skilled.”

Bartschi said he and the rest of the Winterhawks were disappointed after Friday’s 8-3 loss in Spokane -– the only game in the series not decided by one goal –- and went into Saturday’s game with something to prove.

“The whole team wanted to win badly,” Bartschi said. “We owed them something.”

Spokane extended its streak of scoring first in every game in the series when Tyler Johnson scored his seventh goal of the playoffs 59 seconds into the first period.

Levko Koper set up the scoring play with cross-ice pass from the left side of the neutral zone to Johnson, who got behind Portland defenseman Taylor Aronson and snapped a shot that beat Winterhawks goalie Mac Carruth high to the stick side.

That was the only scoring in a penalty-free first period that saw Johnston juggle the centers on his top two forward lines midway through the, moving Ryan Johansen between Bartschi and Ty Rattie, while Craig Cunningham combined with Nino Niederreiter and Brad Ross.

Portland's offense kicked into high gear in the final four minutes of the second period, starting with Joe Morrow's pass that found Ross breaking free on the left wing.

Ross failed to connect on a backhand attempt, but Spokane's Corbin Baldwin drew a slashing penalty while trailing the play, giving Portland its second power-play opportunity of the period.

The Winterhawks didn’t score with the man-advantage, but were buzzing around the net 12 seconds after Baldwin’s penalty expired and Morrow unloaded a shot from the blue line that deflected on Bartschi stick in front of the right post and past Spokane goalie James Reid.

Portland took a 2-1 lead at 5:22 of the third period when the puck went from Bartschi to Aronson on the right point to Rattie in the left circle for a one-timer that beat Reid low to stick side.

Bartschi ended up with the puck after Portland goalie Mac Carruth made a pad save and made a long pass to a streaking Cunningham, whose breakaway goal at 11:47 of the third period made it 3-1.

“The puck came right to me,” Bartschi said. “I saw Cunningham on the far blue line and I thought I'd try it out. You never know. Sometimes it works, and sometimes not. Today it worked pretty well.”

Mitch Holmberg beat Carruth with a wrist shot high to the glove side from the deep slot with 7:12 remaining to pull Spokane with a goal, but that was as close as coach Don Nachbaur’s team could get.

“You can’t give up the breakaways in the third period when the game’s on the line like we did,” Nachbaur said. “That, to me, was the difference. They converted those chances. Nothing more said.”

Notes: Spokane played without defenseman Collin Valcourt, who was suspended by the WHL for his hit on Portland's Tyler Wotherspoon early in the third period of Friday's Game 4 in Spokane... There were only three power play chances in the game -- two for Portland, one for Spokane -- and all were in the second period.