For the third straight year, the Portage Terriers hoist the Turnbull Cup as the MJHL Champions.
The 5th place Portage Terriers beat the 3rd place OCN Blizzard last night at Stride Place in front of a season record crowd of 2288 fans.
Many doubted that the Terriers would repeat as champions after falling 2-0 in the series to the Blizzard and being outscored 14-3, but the young team rebounded with 4 straight wins to keep their title.
For the second game in a row, Chase Brakel would score the game winner finding the back of the net on a beautiful pass in the slot from James McIsaac. The only goal of the game was scored just 1:14 in.
Portage had a solid first period playing well in their own zone. They were first to go on the powerplay, but unable to add to their lead. 1-0 after 20 minutes with both teams registering 6 shots.
The Blizzard had some opportunities to tie the game in the second when Portage took 3 minors in the first 10 minutes of the frame. Josh Martin and Kain Stevenson blocked some big shots and Kurtis Chapman was on and OCN was unable to convert.
Portage had another solid 20 minutes in the third and despite pulling their goalie, OCN would be shut out in game 6 and lose their 4th straight to the defending champs. Kurtis Chapman stopped all 27 shots faced and picked up his third playoff shutout.
Chase Brakel was named Keystone Sports first star of the game scoring the lone goal and describes the experience as special. “This year was a lot different, it felt a little sweeter to win it being an underdog and knocking off the top seeds to win it all and coming from behind in the final series.”
MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis and Director of Operations Kevin Saurette were on hand to hand out the league awards;
Jeremey Leipsic picked up Top Scorer of the Playoffs
Brett Epp named Goaltender of the Playoffs
Josh Martin named MVP of the Playoffs
This year’s captain Riley Thiessen then hoisted the cup to a very loud Dog Pound.
“It’s an amazing feeling and it’s hard to put in to words. We had a great opportunity that we took advantage of and the guys worked hard all year to be here. Both Championships were a great experience for me, but I think this one feels a little sweeter being my last year and being able to go out on top.” – Riley Thiessen
Josh Martin was shocked to be named Playoff MVP. “Honestly it crossed my mind that my name was pulled from a hat. There were a lot of MVP’s in the room and it could have gone to a lot of guys. I’m just glad I was able to contribute to the team winning.”
Next up for the Terriers is the Western Canada Cup in Penticton BC. The round robin starts April 29th and includes the host team Penticton Vees, Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL, Brooks Bandits of the AJHL and the Battleford North Stars of the SJHL.
A big thank you to the people of Portage and our fans, the best in the MJHL for all the support this season. Stay tuned!