The Portage Terriers suffered their first loss of the Centennial Cup on Monday night, dropping a close 3-2 decision to the Battlefords North Stars (SJHL).
It was the first meeting between the two teams since the Terriers beat them in the most recent ANAVET Cup in 2019.
The Terriers got into some penalty trouble early in the game but Battlefords couldn’t capitalize. The North Stars eventually found the score sheet late in the period with Steven Kesslering beating Bailey Monteith on a rebound.
Portage looked like they were shot out of a cannon to start the second period. Matt Wisener tipped home a Ryan Botterill pass on a 2 on 1 to tie the game. Portage continued to parade to the penalty box and Battlefords scored on two straight power plays. Bradley Blake and Jake Southgate both scored goals through traffic to bring in 3-1 North Stars after 2.
Momentum built for the Terriers in the second period and eventually Tayem Gislason broke through. He cleaned up a rebound in front to draw the Terriers to within a goal.
It would be too little too late as Josh Kotai shut the door the rest of the way for Battlefords. Both goalies played well with each team generating 37 shots.
The Terriers will wrap up their round robin on Wednesday night against the OJHL’s Collingwood Blues.
Erica Perreaux/Hockey Canada Images