The Portage Terriers are extremely disheartened by the cancellation of the 2020-21 MJHL season. The loss of a season will have a great impact on our organization, community and especially our players. Our players were extremely professional in the face of cancellations in the spring of 2020 and then again when the league shut down in November.
We would like to thank all our players for their hard work and commitment to training and trying to get back on the ice. We would like to especially thank all our 20-year-old players who weren’t able to finish their season the way they had hoped. We know you will have a bright future!
Reece Henry – A true leader on and off the ice, Henry was named captain at the start of the 2020-21 season. A two-way forward, Henry came to the Terriers for the 2018-19 season and saw his role grow as the season progressed. He ultimately scored the Turnbull Cup winning goal in overtime of game 7 against the Swan Valley Stampeders, and then helped the team win an ANVET Cup. He finished his Terrier career with 71 points in 122 games. “Henry will always be remembered for his heroics with Game 7 final OT goal,” says Terrier head coach and GM Blake Spiller. “Him, Ocean and Shindle were such a key line for us that playoff season. They were a hard trio to play against and played against other teams’ top lines as well as chipping in offensively. He came as advertised, as a guy who came to the rink every day to work hard. Obviously he was thought of with high regards being named the captain this season.”
Peyton Gorski – Named an assistant captain coming into his third season as a Terrier, Gorski was steady on the blue line. A team player that has played up and down the lineup, Gorski posted 50 points in 111 games over three seasons. “Had a great start to this season playing key minutes on the back end,” says Spiller. “Came in as a highly touted Dman but played both up front and on the back end for us. He was willing to do whatever and play whenever needed for our team. You don’t win championships without guys like Gorski.”
Tyler Van Deynze – A home grown product, Van Deynze was a versatile player who could play both forward and defence. A part of the 2019 Turnbull Cup championship, Van Deynze played 96 games over three seasons and had 45 points. “Another guy who did whatever needed for the Portage Terriers,” says Spiller. “Played forward, defence as well doing whatever Geno needed assistance with. Tough way for a local player to finish up after missing out on the National tournament in his hometown and 20-year-old season shut down early. Another player who brings the intangibles needed for a team to have success.”
Jacob Piller – Acquired from the Weyburn Redwings partway through the 2019-20 season to help in the run to the Centennial Cup, Piller put up 14 goals and 40 points in 39 games. He had three points in eight games at the point of shutdown this season. “Pills was a key acquisition for us last season playing top 6 up front both seasons,” says Spiller. “I Thought he got to another level after he arrived here. Was looking forward to seeing how good he was going to be this season with a full year with us. His all around ability will be difficult to replace.”
Tyson McLean – McLean came to the Portage Terriers in the summer of 2020 in a trade from the Humboldt Broncos. McLean played only 7 games as a Terrier but was among the team leaders in points with six. “With his speed he was projected to be more of a shut down PK guy,” says Spiller. “He was off to a real good start offensively. A veteran who was going to be key for us as the season progressed.”
Cole Dekoninck – An MJHL veteran, Dekoninck was tough to play against every time the Terriers squared off against the Dauphin Kings, including a playoff series in 2020. Dekoninck was brought in from the Kings in October in a trade that saw Layne Toder go the other way. In two games as a Terrier, Dekoninck had two goals. “Never a dull moment at the rink with Dekoninck around,” says Spiller. ” I always admired the passion he brought to the rink when we played against him. Unfortunate the season was shutdown as him and Gorski together would have been both an entertaining and talented pair I was really looking forward to. One of the guys I wished I would have had the opportunity to coach a lot longer.”