Story Courtesy Portageonline.com
The Portage Terriers season has come to an end after an extremely tough loss on home ice. The Dogs fell 3-2 to the Virden Oil Capitals in a game that eliminated them from playoff contention.
Braden Fischer opened the scoring for the Oil Capitals just over five minutes into the contest. A minute later, while Virden was on the power-play, Dylan Halliday ripped a shot through traffic that beat Jayden Catellier. This gave Virden an early 2-0 lead.
With just 14 seconds left in the period, Brandon McCartney forced a turnover in the offensive zone and had a 2-on-1 opportunity. He slid the puck across for Nate Hinds to tap in, cutting the lead in half before the break.
Halfway through the second, Hayden Lacquette made a few moves to shift the defence while on the power-play. This created an open one-timer attempt from McCartney, who got all of it, but Bailey Monteith made a miraculous save.
Late in the frame, during an Oil Capitals power-play, Fischer took a shot that went off a stick and hit a Terrier defender’s body before landing behind Catellier and in the back of the net. 3-1 Virden after 40 minutes.
Austin McLean gave the Terriers some life with five minutes to go. He chipped the puck outside the defensive zone and past a defender to create a one-on-one chance for himself. McLean fired a shot high on the blocker side that went off the crossbar and in, making it a one-goal game.
The Terriers drew a penalty with 1:08 left and pulled their goalie for over a minute of 6-on-4 play, however, they couldn’t pull off the comeback. This brought us the final score of 3-2 Virden and ends the Terriers’ 2021-22 campaign.
Forward Jaden Pashe describes what they would’ve liked to do differently in this one.
“Just not let them go up 3-0. We dug ourselves into a hole,” Pashe explains. “We almost got out of it and scratched our way back to the top but sill. That’s the main thing, just not let them get up and come ready in the first 10 minutes.”
Pashe says despite the loss, he still views this season as a success.
“From the start, we were counted out. We were like 2-12, and no one thought we would be even close to contending for the playoffs,” says Pashe. “From the guys who got traded here, the ones with us all year, and the rookies I have to thank them all. We all came together. A bunch of younger guys with just one or two older guys. This was probably the best team I’ve played on so far.”