By Jeff Bromley

The Portland Winterhawks solved Kootenay Ice goaltender Nathan Lieuwen on Wednesday night but couldn't overcome the men in stripes and lost 5-4 in Game 4 of the WHL finals.

After his team battled back from a 4-2 deficit late in regulation, Portland's Sven Bartschi was assessed a roughing call in overtime in front of a crowd of 3,593 at the Cranbrook Recreational Complex. Ice forward Jesse Ismond found Matt Fraser wide open 1:37 later for the overtime winner and a 3-1 series lead for Kootenay.

Portland head coach Mike Johnston is confident his team, facing elimination, will bounce back.

"We'll have 10,000 fans in Portland," Johnston said. "We play well at home and we have a day to recover and a day to park it, get rid of it and focus on the next game."

The Winterhawks found themselves back on their heels on the first shift of the game when Eric Benoit slid a pass to Ismond skating into the Hawks' zone. Ismond beat a surprised Mac Carruth for a 1-0 Ice lead after 19 seconds.

At 7:46, Cody Eakin forced a turnover in the Winterhawks zone, passed back to Joey Leach on the blue line and then went to the net. He tipped Leach's shot past Carruth for a 2-0 lead.

With Kootenay's Brayden McNabb in the penalty box to start the second period, the Hawks converted just as McNabb came out when Riley Boychuk found Ryan Johansen at Lieuwen's back door.

The Hawks tied it on a Troy Rutkowski goal that deflected off Leach and fooled Lieuwen from 80 feet out at 14:19.

The Ice managed to salvage a period dominated by the Winterhawks when Eakin found a streaking Ismond at the left circle. Ismond went in and deked Carruth for his second goal of the game, at 18:11.

After Kootenay made it 4-2 on an Eakin goal at 12:30 of the third period, Johansen intercepted a puck in the neutral zone right after the Hawks killed a penalty. The 18-year-old ripped his 13th goal of the playoffs and second of the night over Lieuwen's shoulder with 3:35 to play.

During a furious sequence in the Ice zone and with Carruth on the bench for the extra attacker, Ty Rattie jumped on a blocked shot to the right of Lieuwen and put it over him to tie the game with 17 seconds left, sending it to overtime for the second consecutive night and third time in the series.

Kootenay coach Kris Knoblauch saw a lead evaporate for the second game in a row.

"They've got a good hockey team," Knoblauch said. "Look at their roster. Look at the NHL Draft picks and the future draft picks. They're going to push back. We can't sit back because nothing's a sure thing."

Johansen said he needed to play better Wednesday, and he did.

"They had a few guys that got me off my game yesterday (Tuesday night)," said Johansen. "I needed a good response. He (Lieuwen) has been a little inconsistent and hasn't really played a full 60 minutes yet. Then again he's been tremendous for them when he needed to be. We know where to beat him, and we just have to capitalize on our chances."

Note: The Winterhawks got Tayler Jordan back after a one-game suspension. Brad Ross, who received a two-game suspension from the league as a repeat offender, is eligible to return Friday.