The Portage Terriers lost their final preseason game Friday night to the visiting Virden Oil Capitals, 5-4. It was a tighter contest than their first meeting last Sunday when Virden won 5-1.
Portage got an early power play but it would be the Oil Capitals who who would take advantage. Hunter Cloutier made a nice move shorthanded to open the scoring. WHL prospect Connor Geekie scored his first of the night 10 minutes later to give Virden a 2-0 lead. Rhys Raeside got Portage on the board when his shot was tipped passed Virden netminder Kyle Kozma. With less than a minute to go in the period Virden scored on the power play.
The Terriers started to claw back into the game with a strong second period. Kian Calder had a point shot find it’s way through traffic halfway through the period. The Oil Capitals responded right away restoring their two goal lead. It was Geekie with his second of the night. Tyler Van Deynze snapped one in from the slot, and Naaman Hofer scored seconds later to tie the game at four.
The Third period was tight with both teams trying to take the lead. Geekie broke the deadlock with his third goal of the night. Portage upped the pressure with the net empty, but were unable to beat Kozma.
Cole Johnston played the full game in net for Portage and stopped 24 of 29 shots. There was some rough play at the end, but overall it was a fairly clean game; only three penalties were called all night.
The Terriers and Oil Capitals kick off the regular season next Friday night in Virden at 7:30 pm. They play two games in Virden on the opening weekend and then two in Portage the following weekend.
For the complete box score CLICK HERE.