The Portage Terriers handed the Steinbach Pistons their first loss since Oct. 23, when they beat them 3-1 on Friday night. It was a special game for the Terriers, who recognized head coach Blake Spiller, assistant coach Paul Harland, and goalie coach Jim Tkachyk for their 1000th MJHL regular season game coached.
The Terriers came out of the gate strong. Brenden Holba was sprung on a breakaway by Decker Mujcin and buried it past Steinbach goalie Cole Plowman. The Terriers kept the pressure up, and Austin McLean fired a laser under the cross bar for his first of the season midway through the first period.
“It was nice. I’ve been struggling a bit but I finally got one, so hopefully we can keep rolling from here,” says McLean. “We are very happy with our effort. It was one of our most complete games. We have them again on Friday, so they will be coming for us.”
The Pistons cut the lead in half early in the second period with Kirk Mullen’s 13th of the season. As the period was coming to a close, Nolan Nenow scored his 5th of the season to give Portage their two goal lead once again.
In the third period both teams went to the box but neither club could find the back of the net. Terrier goalie Jayden Catellier made a huge save on a goal mouth scramble to keep his team in the game.
“I wanted to stay solid for the guys. They played well in front of me so it was my turn to help them out,” says Catellier. “It felt pretty good. The guys came out strong so it gave us momentum early on.”
The Terriers were outshot 31-20. Both teams finished the night 0/3 on the power play. They will meet again on Friday in La Broquerie.