Story courtesy portageonline.com
The Portage Terriers dropped their second straight outing to the Winkler Flyers tonight. The Dogs lost this contest 5-2, but it was a game that was closer than the final score would indicate.
Early in the first period, a point shot was fired by the Terriers, and the rebound was scooped up in tight by Nate Hinds. He quickly turned and fired a shot of the goaltender’s pad, however, the rebound was there for the taking. While it initially was picked up by a Flyer defender, Ryan Botterill ripped it off his stick immediately and put the puck in the open cage.
Near the midway point in the frame, with the Terriers on the power-play, Brandon McCartney made a few moves as he drove down the slot. The defenceman had some space and got Winkler goalie Malachi Klassen out of position before stretching out his stick and sliding the puck past him. 2-0 Terriers.
Winkler would trim the lead in half before the break as Daniel Isaak beat all the Terriers’ to the puck in the corner and flipped it to Ryan Monias in front. He jammed in his tenth goal of the season to make it 2-1 after 20 minutes.
Just two minutes into the second, the MJHL’s leading scorer, Justin Svenson, ripped a shot past Chris Fines on the power-play, tying the game. Treherne’s Nicholas McKee was able to give Winkler their first lead of the game late in the period, and the Flyers headed to the locker room up 3-2 after two periods.
Halfway through the final frame, Kyle Crewe was fed the puck in the slot with a point-blank shot on Fines, but he was absolutely robbed by the Terrier goaltender’s glove. This kept Portage within striking distance.
Despite some great chances for the Dogs, Svenson put home his second of the night on a breakaway with under two minutes left, and Nick Dobson added an empty netter. This brought the final score to 5-2 Flyers.
Terrier forward Ryan Botterill describes what they would’ve liked to do better in this one.
“Just put more pressure on them. We did that well at times, though,” says Botterill. “We just have to bury the pucks. We had a ton of chances we could’ve scored on.”
Botterill outlines the positives they can take away from a game like this.
“We battled hard, and we fought for it, that’s all we can really do,” Botterill explains. “It’s a tough loss, I thought we could’ve had it.”
The Terriers will be back at Stride Place on Wednesday when they try to get back to their winning ways against the Winnipeg Blues. Portage has eight more games left in the regular season and is now five points back of their division’s final playoff spot.