Story by Portage Online.
The Portage Terriers are one win away from lifting the ANAVET Cup. A crazy third period pushed them over the Battlefords North Stars Wednesday night 7-5. Both teams saw a two goal lead erased and 8 goals were scored in the third period.
The North Stars opened the scoring for the first time in the series. Less than two minutes into the game Quintin Loon-Stewardson used the Terrier defenceman as a screen and fired it past Ethan Peterson. Five minutes later Battlefords struck again. With Matthias Urbanski in the box the puck bounced past Sam Huston to Macgregor Sinclair who raced up the ice on a two on one. The first shot was stopped but Regan Doig cleaned up the rebound. Reilly Funk got in behind the Battlefords defence and scored a beautiful breakaway goal over Grzybowski’s glove to bring the Terriers to within one.
The second period tightened up and Portage tied the game at two. Caelan McPhee released a quick point shot off of a face-off and it snuck in under the crossbar.
Portage took their first lead of the game early in the third period. Scott Mickoski finished off a perfect pass from Jay Buchholz. Funk then scored his second of the night on a two on one with Buchholz. The North Stars didn’t give up; on the next shift Sinclair split the Terrier defence and beat Peterson upstairs. Fletcher tipped a Sinclair shot three minutes later to square the game up at four. With the arena buzzing McPhee quieted the crowd with his second of the game. He threw the puck on net from the corner and it squeaked past Grzybowski. Mickoski would add another for Portage to go up by two for the second time in the period.
The sixth goal chased Gryzybowski from the net. He stopped 21 of 27 and it was the first time he has been pulled in the playoffs. Chad Duran came into the game and got his first action since March first. Within two minutes Battlefords drew to within one from a goal by Brett Gammer. A late penalty by Ocean Wiesblatt gave the North Stars hope but Kolton Shindle dove to knock the puck into the empty net to put it out of reach.
Both teams struggled on the power play with the only special teams goal coming from the shorthanded North Stars in the first period.
The Terriers now have a 3-1 series lead and have a chance to win their first ANAVET Cup since 2011. Game 5 will be played at the North Battleford Civic Centre Thursday night at 8:30 pm. You can listen to all of the action on CFRY and Portageonline.com with the Hi Tec Industries pregame show starting at 8:20 pm.