The Portage Terriers are second in the MJHL standings once again but couldn’t come out victorious. The Terriers fell 6-5 in a shootout tonight on home ice against the Dauphin Kings.
Portage started the game off hot, scoring less than five minutes into the game. Matt Wisener won an offensive zone faceoff and got the puck to Slade Stanick on his wing. The former King held the puck in the slot as the bodies cleared out before firing the puck, top shelf. Midway through the frame, Austin Peters brought the puck down the ice along the boards but took a hit as he reached the blue line. The puck kept going, however, as Austin McLean was there to scoop it up in the offensive zone before making a quick pass to a cutting Ryan Botterill. The local forward went to his backhand, in tight, to give the Terriers the 2-0 lead.
Two minutes later, the Kings would respond. Myles Yearwood won the draw back to Nolan Wickham, who quickly fired a shot from the point toward the net. Before it could make it to Jayden Catellier, Logan Walker tipped the puck to the side to the Terrier goalie, and Walker tapped it in for his first of the season. Wickham then was able to find the back of the net himself, as he floated a shot on net that Catellier seemed to never see. It sailed into the back of the goal to tie the game.
Still in the first period, Alex Senf received a pass on the rush as he was cutting down the wing. He fanned on his initial shot but got Catellier out of position as he glided toward the net and got his second attempt across the red line. The Kings wouldn’t hold the lead for long as the Terriers made the most of their first power-play. Matt McLeod made a pass across the offensive zone, and while it hit a stick on its way, it still found Botterill. He made no mistake, ripping a shot just over Cole Sheffield’s glove. This made it a 3-3 contest heading into period number two.
Early in the second, Dauphin took back the lead. Ethan Williment fired a shot wide but it bounced hard off the boards and went right to Senf in front, who beat Catellier for the second time this game. A minute later, Hayden Lacquette drove to the net, and while he was denied, he made Sheffield sprawl out to make the save. The loose puck went right to McLean, who was staring at a wide-open net, however, Sheffield made a miraculous pad save from his back to keep the Kings in front. The Dogs would tie the game later in the period, as Matt Wisener got the puck along the wall near centre ice. He zoomed past his defender before cutting toward the net a slipping the puck past Sheffield, tying the game up 4-4.
The contest remained tied once again at the end of the period. Three minutes into the third, Catellier came out of his net to clear the puck but the Kings kept it in at the blue line. Mathew Gough grabbed it in the corner and made his way toward the net before passing it out in front to the recently traded Jamie Valentino, who was able to score against his former team. Dauphin again didn’t hold the lead for long. 40 seconds later, during a scramble in front of the net, Wisener poked the puck toward the open side of the net, where Kian Calder was ready to tap the puck in to tie the game up for the fourth time.
With three minutes to go in regulation, Austin Peters found Hayden Lacquette down low, who had time and space and gave his best effort but his shot rang off the post. With no goals the rest of the way, this contest went to overtime. While both teams had a few good chances in the 3-on-3 period, nothing was solved, so the game proceeded to a shootout.
Both goalies were stellar in the shootout, as both teams were kept off the board for the first six rounds. Rylan Gibbs broke the seal for the Kings as the seventh shooter leaving it up to Stanick to keep the game going. He went glove side but was stopped sending the Kings home with their second win against the Terriers this season.
Forward Ryan Botterill says they needed to play a full 60 minutes if they want to win games like these. He outlines what they’ll be looking to do to get back in the win column against the Winkler Flyers on Friday.
“We need to win more battles and work hard on both the forecheck and backcheck,” Botterill explains.
Despite having two more wins, the Portage is tied with Winkler for the second-best record in the MJHL and will be looking to take sole possession of that spot when they faceoff on Friday night.