Terriers Stumble In Season Finale

Story Courtesy Jared Thiessen (portageonline.com)

With playoff matchups already set, the Portage Terriers entered the contest against the Neepawa Titans wanting to close the regular season on a high note. To the disappointment of the Portage crowd, it did not happen as they fell 5-1.

Both teams would take penalties in the first, though neither would score on their powerplays. They would exchange shorthanded chances, as Neepawa would get a two-on-one break, but missed the net. Portage’s forecheck lead to a great chance, as Gabriel Laflamme would strip a Titan trying to break out. He walked in and made a pass to Slade Stanick, but Mason Lobreau would make a nice save to keep the game even at zeroes. Neepawa would find the back of the net near the end of the period though, as John Baird took a wrist shot from the point that made it through traffic to beat Jayden Catellier. 1-0 Neepawa through the first frame.

The second period started in Portage’s favour as Jonny Ballos scored his first as a Dog. Alyandro De Leon put one in front of the net for Gabriel Laflamme, and with the puck in the crease, Ballos got ahold of it and put it past the Neepawa netminder. The teams would exchange powerplays again, but this time, Neepawa was able to score on a shorthanded break. Colton Alexander would take a shot that was initially saved by Catellier, but it rolled forward and into the net. Still on the powerplay, the Terriers would take a slashing penalty, and Neepawa would score during the 4-on-4. Hayden Stocks wound up in his defensive zone and using his speed, went to the net and roofed a backhand shot over the shoulder of the Terriers’ goalie to make it 3-1. One final penalty was called in the period, but a big, sliding glove save by Catellier kept Neepawa off the board. 3-1 Neepawa through 40 minutes.

The third period was more of the same, as Cooper Kasprick was able to steal the puck from Catellier and snuck one past him on the far side. Ewan Poirier would get a shot tipped off the skate of a defender over Catellier’s left shoulder. The Terriers would get a powerplay with 28 second remaining, but were unable to score. Rhett Perrin let a shot go after the horn, which drew a crowd, and gave him a 10-minute misconduct.  Final score, 5-1 Neepawa.

Now the Terriers get the week off before kicking off the playoffs against the Winkler Flyers on Friday March 22.