The Portage Terriers picked up their first regulation win of the season Friday night, beating the Neepawa Natives 5-3. It was a tight back and forth affair that Portage pulled out in the third period.
Former Terrier Eli Lieffers opened the scoring for Neepawa midway through the first period. He was able to sneak a low shot under Cole Johnston off the rush. Portage quickly responded on a two on one. Tyson McLean set up Ryan Botterill for his first as a Terrier.
The speed of Botterill, McLean and Rhys Raeside was tough for Neepawa to handle. Botterill struck again early in the second period with a nice shot over the shoulder of Thomson Phinney on the power play. Similar to the first period, the lead was short lived. Less than two minutes later Cameron Hibbert was left alone in the slot and tied the game at two.
Portage regained the lead 4:13 into the third period. Kian Calder cleaned up a rebound as he crashed to the net. For Calder it was his third goal and fourth point of the season. Neepawa wouldn’t go away quietly as Bryce Krauter beat Johnston 1:32 later to even the game at three. Midway through the frame a bouncing puck landed on the stick of Raeside and he made no mistake. Portage would take the lead for good. Cody Blight scored his first as a Terrier two minutes later to put the game out of reach. Johnston played well all night stopping 31 shots for his first win of the season.
The Terriers now pass Neepawa in the standings and move into third in the Interior division. Portage will host Neepawa Saturday night at Stride Place at 7:30 pm to close out the weekend.
For the complete box score CLICK HERE.