For the fourth straight game the Winnipeg Blues would hit the scoreboard first in the best of 7 quarter final.
Castellano opened the scoring 3:47 into the first with his fourth of the series beating Aiken blocker side on the 3 on 2. Levi Cudmore doubled the Blues lead on the powerplay before the halfway point of the period.
Turner Ripplinger opened the scoring for Portage late in the period toe dragging Conor Timlick and going high glove on Link for his first of the playoffs. 24 Seconds later Sutherland regains the Blues 2 goal lead on a pass from Skoleski.
With less than a minute to go, Scott Mickoski finds Nick Doyle in front and he beats Link 5 hole to draw within one, but for the 2nd time in the frame the Blues would come right back with a goal of their own. With 14 seconds left on the clock Skoleski picks up his 4th of the series as the Terriers fail to get the puck out.
Portage hit the ice in the second with more energy and controlled play most of the period. Troy Williams scored from inside the blueline on the powerplay to once again draw within one.
Pierce in the box on a questionable interference call had the Blues back on the powerplay when Dexter Kuczek scored his first of the postseason.
Portage had a great chance to get back in it when Skoleski took a 4 minute high sticking penalty. Kelton Sutherland took a boarding minor 3 minutes later giving the dogs almost a minute of a two man advantage, but they were unable to capitalize and headed into the intermission down 2.
Once again Portage controlled play in the final frame, but struggled to get one by Link despite numerous chances. Turner Ripplinger picked up his second of the game on the powerplay at 13:48 on a pass from Leipsic in the slot that found him open back door where he made no mistake, and the Terriers were back within one.
Sensing a comeback the Terriers put everything they had into the final minutes. With Aiken on the bench and the extra attacker Portage was unable to draw even and Goodbrandson potted the empty netter for 6-4 final and 3-1 lead in the series.
Aiken records the loss facing 31 shots on the night.
The Terriers now find themselves on unfamiliar ground, facing elimination. Game 5 is at Stride Place on Saturday, game time 7:30pm. The Terriers need to win the next 3 to make it to the next round.
Saturday’s game sponsor is Smoke Break Billiards. Get your tickets early to avoid line ups.