The MJHL preseason has officially begun for the Portage Terriers as they fell 5-1 to the visiting Virden Oil Capitals at Stride Place. Portage’s lineup was entirely made up of newcomers including six 16-year-olds. The Oil Capitals on the other hand were playing their second preseason game and had a handful of veterans sprinkled in their roster.
The experience showed early for Virden as they opened the game with a bang. Ashton Howarth made a highlight reel diving stick save in the first two minutes and he would stay busy the rest of the period. The Oil Capitals would strike moments later as Braeden Lewis found the back of the net unassisted. Late in the period Virden would add another while at 4 on 4.
The Oil Capitals extended their lead to three early in the second period. Roux Bazin took a pass as he was streaking to the net and beat Howarth with a backhand deke. Tyler Thoendel would strike on the power play halfway through the frame finishing it off in front of the net.
Halfway through the game, as is customary in the preseason, the Terriers switched goaltenders. Ashton Howarth made 15 saves on 19 shots. Mathew Kieper came into the game and let in a goal on the first shot he faced. Tyler Teasdale squeaked one through on the power play. Kieper would settle down and make some solid saves to close out the period.
The third was more even than the first two periods as both teams got opportunities. Portage finally broke the goose egg with less than three minutes to play. Aeden Loschiavo took a nice pass in the slot and fired a shot over the glove of the outstretched goaltender.
For the complete box score CLICK HERE.
It was the first game for Portage since March 10, when the MJHL post season was cut short due to COVID-19. The Terriers will play their second preseason game on Wednesday when they host the Dauphin Kings at 7:30 pm.