Despite an outstanding 38 save performance from goalie Chris Fines Friday night, the Portage Terriers lost their third game in a row to the Steinbach Pistons. Portage came close to tying the game late in the third period but ultimately fell 2-1 at the TG Smith Centre in Steinbach.
The last meeting between these two teams was a high scoring 6-5 overtime win for Steinbach. The first period on Friday was the polar opposite with neither team being able to find the scoresheet. The Pistons had the slight edge in shots 12-8 in the first period and both teams went 0/1 on the power play.
Steinbach jumped out to an early lead 19 seconds into the second period. Quinton Pepper picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and raced into the Terrier end on a 2 on 1. He snapped a quick shot over the shoulder of Fines for his league leading 11th goal of the season. Steinbach continued to pour on the pressure but Fines shut the door when it mattered.
Halfway through the third period Portage tied the game. Austin Peters threw the puck in front of the net and it bounced off of Terrier captain Logan Calder past Simon Harkness. After a brief review by the referees the goal counted. Portage got into some penalty trouble taking three straight two-minute minors. The penalty kill came up strong and kept the game close. With less than seven minutes to play Davis Fry scored for Steinbach to regain the lead. With the net empty and a late power play Portage got some quality chances but couldn’t tie the game.
The Terriers finished the night 0/4 on the power play and drop to 2-8-1 on the season. They host the Pistons in a rematch Saturday night at Stride Place. Puck drop is set for 7:30 pm.
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