Story Courtesy Jared Thiessen (Portageonline.com)
The Portage Terriers gave everyone a reason to stay to the end in a tight affair against the Selkirk Steelers that went the distance, ending in a 4-3 shootout victory.
The first period had plenty of action in both ends. The Terriers thought they had scored the game’s first goal when the ref pointed at the net, and Slade Stanick went through the handshake line first. However, the ref then waved the goal off for goaltender interference, and play resumed with a faceoff in Selkirk territory.
Matthew Biros would take the only penalty of the period, a tripping call just after the 10 minute mark.
The Terriers would score the games first goal with 5:47 left in the period. Alyandro De Leon chased a puck into offensive territory, where it was tipped away from him directly onto the stick of Gabriel Laflamme. He marched to the middle of the ice, passed the puck to Grant Dardis, and Dardis would snap home a shot past a diving Noel Olsonawski to make it 1-0.
Portage didn’t wait long to add a second goal and Adler Johnston would find a rebound on the doorstep and jam it home for his second of the season. Assists were credited to Ashton Fishley and Mighton Johnson. 2-0 Dogs after 1.
Ethan Brown of the Steelers would score the first goal of the second period. An innocent looking floating shot landed between Jayden Catellier’s legs and bounced behind him into the net. 2-1 Terriers.
Aidan Brook would take the next penalty, a tripping call at 16:59, and the Steelers would capitalize on that powerplay. Jacob Ziegler would wind things up from his own end, drop a pass back to Rocco La Cara. La Cara, using his speed, would draw the attention of three penalty killers, leaving Mathieu Moreira wide open to roof shot past Catellier. That goal tied the game up at 2, where it would stay until the end of the period.
The Steelers would add another goal in the third period to gain their first lead of the game on a goal by Owen Weihs. A sneaky shot from the half-wall got between the wickets of Jayden Catellier and the Steelers led with under 6 minutes to play.
Portage refused to give up though, and Johnston would tip home his second goal of the game on a shot by Ashton Fishley, tying the game with under two minutes to play. Johnston spoke to how it felt to have two on the night.
“It felt great. It felt like our team, we pushed back, and we were able to get two points out of that game, after letting two in. We were up with the lead, but we were able to fight back and regain the lead and get a win here.”
Overtime went by quickly with several chances exchanged at both ends, but no goals.
With overtime solving nothing, the teams would exchange four chances each in the shootout. Jayden Catellier stopped all four shots he faced, and Ashton Fishley scored in the fourth round to send the fans home happy. He spoke about what he saw on the goal after the game.
“I kind of have two moves in my toolbox, and I was just coming down, and I was just deciding between the two. I was coming close to the goalie, and he dropped his left shoulder, and the shot opened up, it went post and in, and we ended up winning after that.”
The Dogs will be off Saturday, and then return to regular practice on Monday to prepare for their next game, on Friday, February 16 against the Winkler Flyers.