Story by River Foster (Portageonline.com)
The Portage Terriers haven’t let up a goal in their last eleven periods of play. The Dogs finished their three-game home stand with their third consecutive shutout tonight as they toppled the Neepawa Titans 6-0.
Early in the first period, Terrier goaltender Bailey Monteith made a pad save in tight but the rebound went right to the doorstep. Mason Hartley had a wide-open cage and looked to tap the puck in but it rang off the post. This was an early sign of what was to come for Neepawa, with countless chances that ended up missing the net throughout the evening.
On the next faceoff, Portage came back the other way, and Brenden Holba found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.
A few minutes later, Slade Stanick had the puck behind the Titans’ net and made a pass out in front that ended up with the puck sitting still in the slot. Mike Stubbs was trailing on the play. He found the puck and ripped a slap-shot top shelf. 2-0 Portage.
Late in the opening frame, Hayden Lacquette fired a shot from the point that was stopped by Neepawa goalie Gavin Renwick. Due to some traffic in front, the puck was up for grabs just outside the crease, and Gavin Klaassen was the first to it. He made no mistake and made it 3-0 Terriers after 20 minutes.
It was more of the same in the second period, dominance from the Terriers. During a 5-on-3, Lacquette made a backhand pass from the middle of the point over to Kian Calder, who tickled the twine on a one-timer.
Just two minutes later, the Terriers capitalized on the power-play again. This time it was Stanick who was able to jam in a rebound after Stubbs’ shot went off the post.
Stubbs had another chance from the slot late in the second while it was 4-on-4. His shot was stopped but Tayem Gislason was in front for the follow-up and got the puck across the red line. This made it 6-0 Terriers with one period left to play.
Monteith had two big saves to keep his shutout streak alive in the third. Both saves saw the goaltender on his side with his glove stretched all the way out to stop the puck. These stops helped bring us the final score of 6-0 Portage.
Forward Mike Stubbs gives a ton of credit to their goalies for their last few performances.
“It’s been from our goalie out. It all starts with Monty (Bailey Monteith) and Cat (Jayden Catellier),” Stubbs continues. “They’ve been lights out for us this last month while we’re trying to get this one seed. From them, it goes through our backend and up to our forwards.”
Stubbs says it feels great to be rattling off wins like this so close to the playoffs.
“We have a bunch of important games down the stretch here. We know what the standings look like, and we know we want home-ice advantage in the playoffs. We have eight games left, and we’re going to play this same way for those last eight.”
The Terriers will hit the road tomorrow for a rematch with the Neepawa Titans at 7:30.