The Portage Terriers fell 4-2 in the season opener Friday night to the Virden Oil Capitals. The Oil Capitals are a veteran laden group with 14 returning players and it showed.
Virden never trailed in this game, scoring 15 minutes into the first period. With Layne Toder in the box for high sticking, Hunter Andrew sniped a perfect one-timer over the shoulder of Cole Johnston. Portage responded quickly. Four minutes later on a power play of their own, Kian Calder walked in and snapped a low shot past Kyle Kozma to tie the game for Portage.
An early second period power play couldn’t help the Terriers gain the lead. Virden scored again at 7:41 of the second. Tyler Thoendel finished off a rebound in front. The Oil Capitals continued to pour on the pressure. After Johnston made two big saves, Hunter Cloutier cleaned up a rebound for Virden to make it 4-1. Portage was outshot 15-6 in the second period.
Ryan Hofer played well for Portage throughout the night and picked up his second assist midway through the third period when he set up Tyson McLean in front of the net. The Terriers tried desperately to tie the game but Virden put it out of reach when Josh Belcher finished off a nice pass on the power play.
Virden finished the night 2/3 on the power play while Portage was 1/6. Cole Johnston made 41 saves in the loss.
Portage will head back to Virden for the rematch on Sunday night at 7pm.
For the complete box score click here.