Story by River Foster (Portageonline.com)
The Portage Terriers remain undefeated in 2023. The Dogs picked up their fifth consecutive victory tonight against the Neepawa Titans at Stride Place.
The Terriers opened the scoring on the power-play early in the first period. Defenceman Brandon McCartney found the back of the net for the fourth time this season, with Austin McLean given credit for the assist.
Past the halfway point in the first, Kaden Kohle brought the puck into the offensive zone along the wing. He ripped a sharp-angle shot on the short side and beat Mason Lobreau to bring the lead up to 2-0.
The Terriers kept the offence rolling in the opening period, extending the gap to three goals less than two minutes later. Bryden Kiesman received the puck along the boards and brought it down low with a defender on his back. Just before he went behind the net, Kiesman put the puck on a platter for a trailing Mike Stubbs, and he made no mistake about it. Stubbs has two goals in two games with the Terriers.
The Titans were able to find the back of the net before the end of the frame as Connor Thompson fired a one-timer top shelf during a 2-on-2 rush. This brought the score to 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Daniel Siso built the lead back up to three goals midway through the second. The assistant captain received a stretch pass as he was about to enter the offensive zone with a defender on him. Siso came in on an angle and put the puck behind his back before sliding it forward between his own legs. This caught the defenceman off guard and gave Siso the space to tuck the puck between the goalie’s pads.
Less than two minutes later, excellent puck movement with the man-advantage trimmed the lead as Josh Romanyk tapped the puck across the red line in tight.
Late in the second, Mason Hartley had a partial breakaway and ripped a shot on net but Monteith got the tip of his glove on the puck to keep the score at 4-2 heading into the third.
Ryan Botterill and Tayem Gislason rang the puck off the post on the power-play in the first five minutes of the third but the Terriers’ offence was kept off the board for the rest of the contest.
With just over a minute left to play and their net empty, Neepawa was able to make it a game once again. During a scramble in front of the net, Will Highet scooped up the loose puck in tight and put it over Monteith as he was sprawled out in his crease.
Highet had a chance to tie it up with just ten seconds to go in a 2-on-1 opportunity. He kept the puck himself and looked to go short side on Monteith but the goalie used the shoulder to win the game for Portage 4-3.
Newly acquired forward Brock MacDonald dished out his first assist in a Terrier uniform tonight. He describes the keys to the victory.
I’d say getting pucks deep, putting pressure on them, laying the body, and getting pucks on net.”
MacDonald says they showed a lot of resilience in this one.
“It shows that we have good character. We’ll battle to the end no matter what. We’re a family, we’ll do anything for each other.”
The Terriers are going to be attempting to build their win streak to six games on Sunday as they head to Winnipeg for a meeting with the Freeze.